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The Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) is a news organization run by Iranian university students. Established on November 4, 1999 in order to report on news from Iranian universities it now covers a variety of national and international topics.[1] Editors and correspondents are themselves students in a variety of subjects, many of them are volunteers (nearly 1000). The ISNA is considered by Western media to be one of the most independent and moderate media organizations in Iran, and is often quoted.[1][2]

Although it is generally considered independent, the ISNA is financially supported in part by the Iranian government and is supported by the officially sanctioned University Jihad, another student organization.[1] The agency's first director Abolfazl Fateh, who resigned in late 2005, was taken to court on several occasions, including for a report on Shirin Ebadi, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and human rights activist.[1]

In January 2005 a server called The Planet unilaterally stopped hosting the website of the ISNA. The ISNA said that they did not receive a reason for the closure, and had only been informed 48 hours before the move. An Iranian government official later accused the United States of ordering the shutdown. The incident led to new calls for Iran to develop its own satellite communication technology.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d Engber, Daniel. "What's With the Iranian Students News Agency?", Slate, February 2, 2006. Retrieved February 7, 2007.
  2. ^ "Bombs boost town's Taleban support", BBC News, November 6, 2001. Retrieved February 7, 2007.
  3. ^ "US accused after Iran site closed", BBC News, January 24, 2005. Retrieved February 7, 2007.

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