Iran Government and Media Profile

Iran Political Orientation

Iran - Government and Media - Right Bias - Authoritarian ConservativeIran Government and Media Country Profile


Government Type: Islamic Republic
Supreme Leader: Ayatollah Khamenei serves as the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution and the head of state.
Leader: President Ebrahim Raisi

Political Party: Combatant Clergy Association
Political Position: Right-Wing

Press Freedom

MBFC’s Country Freedom Rating: 18.41 – Total Oppression
World Press Freedom Rank:
Iran 177/180

According to Reporters without Borders, “Iran has been one of the world’s most repressive countries for journalists for the past 40 years. State control of news and information is unrelenting, and at least 860 journalists and citizen-journalists have been imprisoned or executed since 1979.”

Media Ownership and Government Analysis

The Supreme Leader of Iran is Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei. He controls media through the country’s Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, which is responsible for regulating and supervising media. They do this by controlling licensing of media outlets, issuing and revoking licenses of news organizations, and regulating News content. They also issue work permits for foreign and local journalists. Journalists and publications are subject to the Press Law, with the Press Court hearing most cases relating to journalists and publications.

The Iranian constitution’s article 24 states, “Publications and the press are free to discuss issues unless such is deemed harmful to the principles of Islam or the rights of the public. The law shall determine the details of this exception.” Human Rights Watch has criticized this law as being too vague, and “the terms of the Press Law give little meaningful guidance to journalists and editors while providing officials with ample opportunity to censor, restrict, and find offense.” Therefore, journalists in Iran are often jailed for “spreading propaganda against the ruling system” or “conspiring against officials and insulting authorities.” According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, the other reasons stated for prosecution is for publishing “lies,” “slander,” “falsehoods,” “fabrication,” “propaganda against the State,” or “insulting the leadership.”

The Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) is the state organization in charge of domestic and overseas broadcasting. The Chairman of IRIB is appointed for five-year terms by the Supreme Leader. The State directly funds IRIB. Further, it also generates revenue through advertising. During nationwide anti-government protests in 2019, the Iranian government also imposed an internet blackout, which lasted one week.

In summary, the state essentially has 100% control over the media. Iran is a dangerous place for journalists forced to publish pro-state propaganda.

Country Rating Methodology

Last Updated on May 12, 2023 by Media Bias Fact Check

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