Iran closes Al Arabiya bureau

June 14, 2009 at 5:15 PM

TEHRAN, June 14 (UPI) -- Iranian authorities closed down Al Arabiya's Tehran bureau Sunday amid fears of violent clashes after President Mahmoud Ahmedinijad's apparent re-election.

Officials closed the bureau for a week, a move preventing Al Arabiya from broadcasting protests by backers of reformist Mir Hossein Mousavi, who say the election was fraudulent. Al Arabiya is based in Dubai.

Diaa al-Nasseri, Al Arabiya's correspondent in Tehran, announced Iran's move live on-air. He said he was asked by the Iranian Ministry of Information to change a report and then was notified the offices would be closed for a week.

"Al Arabiya is worried about being banned from the chance to cover an important country like Iran during an important event like the elections and afterward without explaining the reason behind that decision," said Nabil Khatib, executive news manager of Al Arabiya.

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