Page last updated at 19:25 GMT, Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Iran Arabic channel taken off air

Al-Alam logo
Al-Alam has covered the war in Yemen extensively

Iran's Arabic language satellite television channel, al-Alam, has been taken off air by two Arab-controlled satellite companies.

The operators of Nilesat and Arabsat cited a breach of contract according to Egypt's MENA news agency, but al-Alam said they had not been given a reason.

Analysts say some Arab governments are worried about the channel's popularity and Iran's growing regional influence.

Saudi Arabia hosted a meeting of Arab information ministers on Tuesday.

The move comes at a time of heightened tensions between Iran and Western-allied Arab governments, particularly Saudi Arabia.

Iran, a predominantly Shia Muslim country, has expressed concerns over the treatment of minority Shia in Saudi Arabia where an austere form of Sunni Islam known as Wahhabism is dominant.

Tehran and Riyadh have exchanged warnings about the treatment and conduct of Shia pilgrims arriving in the Saudi Arabia for the annual Hajj pilgrimage.

Al-Alam's coverage of the war in Yemen including statements from the rebels accusing Saudi Arabia of involvement may also have angered Riyadh, analysts say.

Print Sponsor

Saudi warning over Hajj politics
03 Nov 09 |  Middle East
Country profile: Iran
10 May 11 |  Country profiles
Country profile: Saudi Arabia
26 Mar 11 |  Country profiles

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2019 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific