Corbyn Defends Iran State TV Appearances: Says Payment ‘Wasn’t Enormous’

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UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has defended receiving £20,000 for appearances on the Iranian state broadcaster on the basis that the payment “wasn’t an enormous amount”.

Mr. Corbyn was challenged over his willingness to appear on Press TV, the Iranian government’s English-language television arm, despite concerns about Iran’s record on the treatment of LGBT people. Press TV’s director is appointed by the Islamic Republic’s Supreme Leader, meaning its output usually reflects the religious establishment’s strict Sharia ideology.

The channel was banned in the UK for its role in filming the torture of an Iranian journalist.

The Labour leader told a Pink News Q&A that the payment for five appearances  between 2009 and 2012 was detailed in the UK parliament’s register of members’ financial interests.

“I presented other programmes in which I was able to raise a number of human rights issues, not just in Iran but other countries as well – and the money I was paid, which wasn’t an enormous amount actually, went on my constituency office,” Mr. Corbyn said.

Explaining why he stopped appearing on the channel, he said: “I did some programmes for Press TV quite a long time ago.

“I refused to do anymore because there was a change in the process they were operating. They’d asked me to go on a programme discussing the elections in Iran, I was prepared to do that. Then they changed it to a title that was going to be ‘The Western influence of elections in Iran’, so I refused to do that programme.”

It was during one of his appearances on Press TV when he made his much-maligned claim that it was a “tragedy” that Osama bin Laden had been killed and not put on trial.

Mr. Corbyn is no stranger to controversy. As Breitbart Jerusalem has reported, the politician, who has also publicly endorsed a blanket arms embargo on Israel and the boycott of Israeli universities involved in weapons research, made waves in 2003 with the publication of an article claiming that bin Laden was framed for 9/11.

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