History and Structure

Getting familiar with Foreign Media Department


Foreign Media Department is one of the oldest parts of Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance and its activities even date back to Qajar era (some 150 years ago). This department became more active during 1950s when larger number of foreign journalists came to Iran to cover the events of the time.
This department was affiliated to Ministry of Information and Tourism before Islamic Revolution of 1979 and following the establishment of Islamic Republic and merger of Ministry of Culture and Art and Ministry of Information and Tourism and formation of Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, Foreign Media Department became a part of International Department of the newly established ministry.
This General Directorate Department, upon establishment of Press and Publicity Department of Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance in 1989 was detached from International Department of Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance and became a part of newly established Press and Publicity Department.
During the past decades the name of this department has changed several times from Foreign Press Department to Press and Foreign Media General Directorate and finally chose the name of Foreign Media General Directorate.

Structure of Foreign Media Department:

This department consists of two offices

• Deputy for Media Affairs
• Deputy for Foreign Correspondents Affairs

Scope of activities of deputy for media Affairs:

This office consists of four sections: Translation, Monitoring, Data Bank and overseeing foreign press as following:

1- Translation Office: translators working in this office monitor more than 300 newspapers, magazines and websites of 20 countries published in North America, Europe, Asia, Oceanic, Africa, middle East and Arab world in English, French, German, Italian, Arabic, Russian and Japanese and translate selected and most important and relevant articles.
From Dec, 2013, following implementation of policies of the new government, Foreign Media Department instead of printed version news bulletins published on daily and weekly bases, is putting Persian translation of 12 articles each day on its website( within 48 hours from the time of publication of the articles in original languages).
Translated articles both in Persian and original languages are available at following sites:

Articles are divided to following categories on the said sites:
A- Iran
B- World
C- Special Articles(confidential)

The criteria to select the articles for translation are topics on Iran, neighboring countries, Islamic world, cultural events, regional developments and other major international events. Each weekend a glossary of the articles' abstracts along with main points of the articles are sent to high ranking officials of the country for their information.

2- Monitoring Office: experts of this section monitor and evaluate works of those foreign media with representative bureaus in Iran on daily bases and prepare in-depth report about evaluated articles and news stories filed by residing correspondents.
3- Data Bank: data bank of Media Affairs section includes translated articles and materials reflected in reviewed media covering all translated and monitored articles and publications.
These two data banks are among the most trustworthy and valuable information sources in the country and are ready to assist researches and academics of political science and communication fields. Up to end of July 2015 more than 100,000 translated articles from more than 300 foreign newspapers and periodicals were stored in Article Data Banks and more than 1000 analytical reports in Monitoring Data Bank.

1- Office for Coordination and Overseeing of Entering Foreign Publications:

This office is tasked to issue the required permissions for purchasing and subscription of foreign news publications, issuing permission for distribution of foreign news publications to Press Institution. This office is also responsible for coordination and setting criteria for entry of foreign publications and activities of express transportation companies carting and delivering valuable documents and activities of foreign press importing companies. Main responsibilities of this office are as follows:
1- Approving and overseeing activities of companies importing and distributing foreign news publications.
2-Processing the applications filed by real and legal persons for purchasing and subscription of foreign publications.
3- Overseeing and clearance of imported foreign publications based on prevailing laws and regulations.
4- Overseeing activities of express courier service handling valuable documents.
4- Supervising activities of provincial departments of Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance over handling of customs clearance of imported foreign publications, collecting and compiling reports received from provincial departments.

B- Activities of Office of Foreign Correspondents Affairs and its developing story

This office was sect up during 1950s when the number of visiting foreign journalists increased. At the beginning it was named Foreign Reporters section under the department of Information. In 1963 when by establishment of Ministry of Information, the name of Information Department changed to Foreign Publicity, the Foreign Journalists Office remained as subordinate section of this department. In 1967 when Foreign Publicity Department was elevated to General Directorate of Foreign Relations, this office also became a department (one of the important sections of this department was Foreign Journalists Guiding Office which was functioning up to 1997. One of the responsibilities of this office was dispatching its staff as companions of non-residing foreign journalists while visiting Iran. In 1974, when Tourists Attracting Organization and Ministry of Information were merged and Ministry of Information and Tourism was established, Office of Foreign Correspondence Affairs was first renamed as Office of Representatives of Mass Media and following the victory of glorious Islamic Revolution it was again renamed this time to Office of Foreign Reporters and Foreign Media Bureaus. In 2013, by creating the portfolio of Deputy for Foreign Correspondents Affairs, this office has become one of the main sections of Foreign Media Department.
Office of Foreign Correspondents Affairs consists of following sub-divisions:
1- Reception and Press Card Issuing Unit
2- Pezhvak Unit (Inter-organizational Comprehensive Data Bank)
3- Correspondence and Follow up Unit
4- Archive of Media and Reporters Document Unit
5- Cultural Agreement Evaluation Unit

Main Responsibilities of Office of Foreign Correspondents Affairs

1- Required evaluation works to issue permission for establishment, dissolving and overseeing activities of Foreign Media Bureaus
2- Issuing working permissions for foreign correspondents and news crews (both expatriates and Iranians) of foreign media based on the pertaining laws of the country.
3- Reviewing and issuing press visa for non-Iranian representatives of foreign media.
4-Issuing permission for resident Permit and its extension, issuing and extension of multi-entry press visa on behalf of Law Enforcement Department
5- Expert analysis of foreign reporters and media backgrounds, sending them to ministries and governmental organizations, especially when there is a request for interview with state officials.
6- Sending notifications of ministries and governmental organizations about news events to representatives of foreign media to attend news briefings.
7- Overseeing activities of service providing institutions to representatives of foreign media
8- Providing expert advices and recommendation about letters of understanding and cultural exchange programs with other nations.

General information about foreign media bureaus in Iran at Desember 2016
- Number of Foreign Media Bureaus : 155
-  Number of news agencies: 35
- Number of active Radio and TV channels(Broadcasting Media): 78
- Number of newspapers and periodicals: 27
- News Photograph institurions:11
- Number of news websites: 3

Name and number of countries with representative bureau in Iran

1- 32 countries including: U.S.A, UK, Republic of Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Italy, Germany, UAE, Spain, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Bahrain, Turkey, China, Russia, Japan, Syria, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Oman, Palestine, France, Kyrgyztan, Qatar, North Korea, Columbia, Kuwait, Lebanon, Egypt, Malaysia and The Netherlands.

Language of foreign media holding working license in Iran

17 Languages including: German, Spanish, French, Turkish, English, Italian, Azeri, Portuguese, Chinese, Kyrgyz, Russian, Japanese, Arabic, Farsi Dari, Kurdish, Korean, and Dutch.