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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - JEDDAH — Two Iranian journalists working for a state-owned broadcaster have quit their jobs, saying they do not want to be used by the regime for weaving a web, of lies and deceit, according to media reports.
One of them, Gelare Jabbari, apologized to her IRIB TV viewers in an Instagram post, saying: “It was very hard for me to believe that our people have been killed. Forgive me that I got to know this late. And forgive me for the 13 years I told you lies.”
Zahra Khatami, the other anchor who quit the job at at IRIB, said: “Thank you for accepting me as anchor until today. I will never get back to TV. Forgive me.”
Meanwhile another anchor, Saba Rad, said she was leaving journalism after 21 years.
“Thank you for your support in all years of my career," she said. "I announce that after 21 years working in radio and TV, I cannot continue my work in the media. I cannot.”
The resignations come as Iranians again took to the streets in anti-government protests on Monday. Many are calling for the ouster of government leaders after the shooting down of a Ukrainian passenger plane that Iran initially denied responsibility for.
The protests have led to reported harsh crackdowns by security forces, further fragmenting the relationship between the regime, the media and Iranians.
The Tehran-based Association of Iranian Journalists said the public was witnessing "a funeral for public trust," according to a report in the UK daily The Guardian.
Ghanbar Naderi, a commentator on Iran’s state-run Press TV, said the regime's lies about the airliner have eroded the public trust in its leaders and state media broadcasters.
“Millions and millions took (to the streets following the assassination of Qassem Suleimani," Naderi told BBC Radio Today. "It was a rare moment of unity but the IRGC blew it. As a journalist you need to be able to sleep at night. I will never ever distance myself from the truth. This a great nation. It has made many mistakes that are unacceptable. If the IRGC shot down a civilian airplane, I have no choice but to condemn it.”
In a statement, the Association of Iranian Journalists said state-owned media outlets have lost public confidence after publishing false or misleading information.
"We lie loudest when we lie to ourselves; and Islamic Republic of Iran state television employees acknowledge that their credibility has been lost," the group said, according to the newspaper. "Unaware that the credibility of this media and most of the domestic media had long since vanished."
“It should be noted, however, that other media outlets objected to the situation, but the Islamic Republic of Iran’s state television favoured [sic] it," the statement continued. "This incident showed that people cannot trust official data and journalists should try to fill this gap as much as possible.” — Agencies
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