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BBC World Service closes its Persian radio service

(Photo: BBC)

The BBC World Service has stopped broadcasting Persian radio programmes after 82 years.

The final programme of Persian (Farsi) Radio was broadcast on 26 March.

The closure is in line with the BBC’s strategy of creating a modern, streamlined and digital-led organisation.

The Farsi radio service was launched during World War II as part of the BBC’s Empire Service on 29 December 1940, with support from the Foreign Office.

It provided the latest political, social, economic and sports news relevant to Afghanistan, Iran and Tajikistan.

The World Service has said it aims to save £28.5 million (US$35 million) by closing Persian and Arabic radio stations as part of a wider effort to save £500 million yearly.

The corporation will also stop producing radio content in 10 other languages, including Chinese and Hindi.

The BBC has said the cuts result from years of UK government-imposed limits on raising license fees, in addition to the rising cost of producing programmes.