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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 January 2006, 10:27 GMT
Iran lifts CNN ban after apology
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
The Farsi word for "technology" was mistranslated as "weapons"
Iran has reversed a ban on CNN, a day after the US network was banned for mistranslating a presidential speech.

State TV said the reversal came after CNN apologised, saying the translator's error had not been deliberate.

CNN wrongly translated President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as saying Iran had a right to use nuclear "weapons", rather than nuclear "technology".

Hardliners had described the mistake as a deliberate attempt to misrepresent Iran's stance in a diplomatic crisis.

The US-based news network issued a statement apologising for the mistake and expressing its "regrets to the Iranian government and the Iranian ambassador to the United Nations".

It said the translator, who had worked for CNN before, had been hired from an outside company, and there was no reason to think that his mistake had been deliberate.

Broken seals

CNN had carried a live translation of President Ahmadinejad's news conference on Saturday.

Its translation quoted the president as saying the West should not "deprive us to have nuclear weapons", but Iran says the Farsi word for technology was wrongly translated as weapons.

Any revision in the decision depends on the performance of CNN in future
Iranian culture ministry

On Monday, the Iranian culture ministry said no journalist from CNN would be allowed into Iran.

"Any revision in the decision depends on the performance of CNN in future," it said.

CNN does not have a bureau in Tehran, but gets permits to cover events. Its chief international correspondent, Christiane Amanpour, was in the country at the time.

Iran insists its nuclear programme is for producing energy, not weapons.

Leading Western nations are currently trying to persuade Russia and China to support a hard line on Iran's nuclear programme in a closed-door meeting in London.

Last week, Iran broke the seals on three nuclear facilities, ending a two-year moratorium on atomic experimentation.

Hear Iran's foreign minister defend the nuclear work

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