Iran launches Spanish TV channel

Kurdpa - Iran\'s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has officially launched a Spanish-language satellite TV channel, saying it would deal a blow to \"dominance seekers\" – remarks that were an apparent dig at the US and the west.

Iran\'s broadcasting company said Hispan TV, the first Spanish-language channel airing from the Middle East, will broadcast news, documentaries, movies and Iranian films 24 hours a day.

The launch is Tehran\'s latest effort to reach out to friendly governments in Latin America and follows Ahmadinejad\'s tour of the region earlier in January, which included stops in Cuba and visits to Venezuela, Nicaragua and Ecuador

It also comes as Washington and Europe have imposed tougher sanctions on Tehran over its controversial nuclear programme.

The EU last week imposed an oil embargo against Iran and froze the assets of its central bank. In December, the US said it would bar financial institutions from the US market if they do business with Iran\'s central bank.

Iran\'s state TV said the channel, which had been on air on a trial basis since October with a 16-hour daily programme, will target millions of Spanish-speaking people throughout the world.

\"The new channel will limit the ground for supremacy of dominance seekers,\" Ahmadinejad said during a Tehran ceremony marking the inauguration. \"It will be a means for better ties between people and governments of Iran and Spanish-speaking nations.\"

Ahmadinejad ended his speech in Spanish: \"Viva la Paz! Viva el Pueblo! Viva América Latina!\"

Iran broadcasts daily in five other foreign languages, including in English through state-run Press TV and in Arabic via al-Alam TV.

The west suspects Iran is pursuing ambitions to create nuclear weapons, a charge Tehran denies, insisting its atomic programme is only for peaceful purposes such as power generation.

Source: The Guardian