Iran bars Reuters over ninja 'assassin' error
updated 11:34 AM EDT, Tue April 3, 2012
- Reuters runs a headline saying Iran is training female ninja assassins
- It admits the headline is wrong and changes it
- Iran revokes the press cards of 11 Reuters staff in Tehran
Editor's note: Read an Arabic version of this story.
Tehran, Iran (CNN) -- Iran revoked the press cards of Reuters staff in the country after the news agency ran a mistaken headline saying Iran was training female Ninja assassins, Iran's official news agency reported Tuesday.
"All activities of the Reuters office in Tehran have been temporarily suspended," said Mohammad Javad Aghajari, the Culture Ministry foreign media department director general, IRNA said.
The controversy stems from a Reuters video showing women clad head to toe in black, running up walls and flipping backwards and diving and rolling over swords held at waist heights.
The Culture Ministry official accused Reuters of calling the martial arts students terrorists, when in fact they are "university students and housewives" who "engaged in this sport because of their love for the sport."
Reuters acknowledged the video report in February "contained an error" and that the headline was changed after a complaint.
The story's headline, "Thousands of female Ninjas train as Iran's assassins," was corrected to read "Three thousand women Ninjas train in Iran," Reuters said in a statement.
Eleven Reuters staff members in Tehran were told to hand in their press cards over the incident, Reuters said.
""We acknowledge this error occurred and regard it as a very serious matter," editor-in-chief Stephen J. Adler said, saying the company "conducted an internal review and have taken appropriate steps to prevent a recurrence."
He said Reuters was in talks to restore its journalists' accreditation.
IRNA said authorities would review the case.
Iran's own government-run Press TV ran a similar video story earlier in the year showing even more frenetic martial arts moves, including women leaping onto each other's shoulders and flipping them over.
CNN's Shirzad Bozorgmehr contributed to this report.
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:26 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
updated 7:09 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
updated 1:01 PM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
updated 10:48 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
updated 12:07 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
updated 7:15 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
updated 7:06 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
updated 7:37 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
updated 2:18 AM EST, Fri February 8, 2013
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.