BBC complains to UN about Iran targeting its Persian service

The BBC says it has filed a complaint with the United Nations over Iran freezing the assets of over 150 people associated with its Persian service.

In a statement Wednesday, the BBC said those assets were frozen as part of a criminal investigation by Iranian authorities into the broadcaster's employees, former staff and contributors over allegations of a "conspiracy against national security."

Iran's mission at the U.N. did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The BBC first announced the asset freeze in August.

The BBC's Farsi-language service is barred from operating in Iran, though many Iranians listen to its radio shows and watch its satellite television broadcasts. The BBC says the service reaches some 18 million people weekly who are hungry for news outside of Iran's state-controlled broadcasters.