Iran Cracks Down On Foreign Media

(AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

At left, a significant contingent of Iranian police is jeered by protesters as it rolls through the streets of Tehran, June 15, 2009.

Iran's hard-line regime, starting to show stress under the mounting pressure of massive opposition rallies, has told foreign media that if they're seen on the streets of Tehran today with a camera, they will be arrested.

Since the contested election results were announced just hours after polls closed on Friday, images of thousands of thousands-strong protests — some turning violent — have streamed out of Iran's capital city.

Tuesday, the regime's Ministry of Islamic Guidance, which strictly controls where all foreign media go and who they speak to in Iran, told CBS News and, we believe, all other Western media, that the rally scheduled by opposition candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi's supporters for Tuesday afternoon was illegal, and so, therefore, was covering it.

But the ban is much broader than that, extending to any coverage in Tehran whatsoever.

"No journalist has permission to report or film or take pictures in the city," a Culture Ministry official told the Reuters news agency.

Journalists have effectually been confined to their hotels.

Covering this election debacle has been incredibly difficult for us already, given the regime's relentless — albeit never 100-percent successful — attempt to stifle the flow of information via phone lines and the Internet.

Contacting our crew on the ground in Tehran has been challenging for days, even before the election. Now, at least we know where they'll be.
  • Tucker Reals

    Tucker Reals is the CBSNews.com foreign editor, based at the CBS News London bureau.

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