The BBC now must preface its news with the disclaimer that 'verifying reports is difficult' and quote journalists from its London-based Persian bureau, rather than staff on the ground.
Other Western media outlets face restrictions too, and 42 journalists and bloggers are currently in Iranian prison, according to the press freedom organisation Reporters Without Borders.
But election protests continue. The news hasn't gone away. So where should those of us outside Iran obtain our information, to flesh out the skeleton of agency copy and social media updates, and to balance the local media content, subject to government manipulation.
The English language and Iranian government owned Press TV, with its high profile advertising campaign featuring on the side of London buses, boasts numerous British journalists among its staff: Andrew Gilligan, Yvonne Ridley, George Galloway and Lauren Booth are some of its biggest names.
Criticism for Press TV
But its critics are scathing and argue that the channel is unbalanced and ill-representative of what's going on inside Tehran.
One of its most influential opponents in the UK is Potkin Azarmehr, a widely-read blogger, who started his site as 'a platform for the voice of secular pro-democracy activists in and outside Iran who are struggling against the religious dictatorship of the Islamic clerics in Iran'.
"Press TV is something which is backed by the Iranian government, here to provoke the English-speaking Muslims and to misguide them with their propaganda," Azarmehr tells Journalism.co.uk.
"What's really putting salt in our wounds, is people like George Galloway," he says. Galloway - who hosts a programme called Real Deal billed to provide 'news and views that you can not find in the corporate media' - downplayed the nature of the protest, Azarmehr argues.
Galloway presented the protests as 'just some sort of fad by rich north Tehran kids that's just going to fizzle out', Azarmehr says. "This guy just doesn't know what he's talking about."
The Press TV bus advertising campaign irks him too: at a time when the leader of the Iranian bus drivers' union is in prison, foreign journalists have restricted access and the government is clamping down on the internet and mobile phones, it angers him to see Press TV's slogan driven round London.
"They're [the Iranian government] cracking down on people. They're jamming the signals, and Press TV are advertising the 'voice for the voiceless'," he says.
Understand Press TV for what it is, says Bright
Martin Bright, the former News Statesman journalist, who now writes for the Spectator, recently appeared on BBC Newsnight to explain why he wouldn't be participating as a guest on Press TV again, after coverage of the protests renewed his suspicion about the channel's editorial treatment of debates and stories.
Like Azarmehr he is sceptical of the channel's promotion in the UK: "What the advertising campaign doesn't say is that 'this is Iranian propaganda'. You will certainly get an alternative view but it ain't journalism."
"Press TV doesn't advertise itself as a mouthpiece of the Iranian government. But that's what it is," he tells Journalism.co.uk. Bright is not against Press TV's existence, or even demanding further regulation, but he thinks British journalists should think twice before signing the contract.
"Press TV should be allowed to collapse under the absurdity of their own contradictions really. Disciplining it under some kind of Ofcom code would fuel its feeling of victimhood," he says.
Journalists and guests should 'know what it is and go into it with eyes wide open': "They can make their own decisions about whether they work for it, or indeed take the rather generous appearance fee."
"I think questions need to be asked of those senior journalists: Andrew Gilligan and Yvonne Ridley who choose to be the public face of that TV station, and I think, in Andrew's case, to appear on adverts for Press TV," he says.
"People should look to their consciences as to whether they should work for such an organisation," he adds. "Is it journalism, or is it propaganda? I can't see how Andrew Gilligan can ask people to take him seriously as a journalist when he's working for Press TV. "
Bright believes the channel's content has a 'virulent anti-Zionist line' and that the election protests highlighted 'just how brutal the [government] regime was'.
"It has hardened my resolve never to appear on Press TV again," he says.
Press TV's UK spokesperson
Press TV has a sole spokesperson defending it in the UK, Matthew Richardson, its legal adviser. He has been interviewed on the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme, on the Newsnight programme with Martin Bright and on the BBC World Service.
Bright dismisses him as a 'de facto embassy spokesperson'; but Richardson maintains that the channel is balanced and that it is not a representative of the regime.
"We invite guests bearing opposing arguments in order to bring balance, and we qualify the items that we report. I'm sure we don't always get it right, just like other stations. We are a young channel and I think that we have a rapidly growing audience," Richardson told Journalism.co.uk when presented with various criticisms made in the UK media.
Richardson claims not to be able to talk about the website, only the TV channel, a point he attempted to make on Newsnight. He tells Journalism.co.uk that Press TV Ltd, for which he works, is a production company that produces programmes and sells them to Press TV International, and has nothing to do with the website content.
"It's clear that people find this concept ludicrous but I really don't know how else to explain it. I assume we wouldn't have had this problem had our company's name been different to Press TV," he says.
Press TV's 'attacks on Zionism'
Press TV's content has been critised by, among others, the Times commentator Dominic Lawson. He said Press TV 'devotes an extraordinary proportion of its output to attacks on "Zionism".'
Surprisingly, Richardson says he appreciates Lawson's point: "I agree that the ordinary proportion of output that is devoted by other stations to attack Zionism is a lot less than that of Press TV.
"But in respect of his [Lawson's] profiles of some of our presenters, I think he could have been a lot kinder. I obviously see them all regularly, and they are nice people - all working hard to cover important stories."
And what about the departure of presenter Nick Ferrari, that must have been a blow for the channel?
Ferrari told journalists he thought Press TV was compromised in its coverage, owing to recent political events: "I imagine they've [Press TV] been told what to do, and I can't reconcile that with working there," he was quoted as saying in the Times.
"I think it would be foolish for me to criticise his decision," Richardson tells Journalism.co.uk. "I believe he may have been experiencing some pressure from other companies to leave Press TV Ltd but I can't confirm this. I must say that he did choose to work for Press TV beyond the elections and actually presented a show during the period in which the protests were taking place.
"I highly doubt his suggestion that news researchers have 'been told what to do'. That sounds very menacing. Regarding the coverage of the elections themselves and all the unrest that followed, I think that, in reality, a section of our audience has noted a gap in the reports, and our news team should bear in mind that on this occasion, we haven't delivered."
Press TV currently faces an Ofcom investigation into the impartiality and accuracy of its content. It's something Richardson won't be drawn on: "I don't want to prejudice the Ofcom investigation. All stations receive complaints. I await to see what the exact nature of the complaints are.
"The fact is that Press TV is regulated by Ofcom, and is therefore under the direct scrutiny of Ofcom's Broadcasting Codes, unlike the BBC in many instances. So even if we wanted to be a dictatorial, Stalinesque propaganda station, Ofcom simply wouldn’t allow it. Also, it would be very dull."
Press TV's future
But, Richardson repeats, he will not speak for the website, only the television content.
"I think that Press TV is always going to come under attack because of the nature of the station. I feel it may taint the impression of the channel, even before it is viewed. Martin Bright himself admitted on Newsnight that he doesn't watch Press TV," he says.
"He expressed his concerns on the Zionism stories by listing a few examples, but I think we need to look into them properly, not just for me to respond generically to the mere genre of these news items. Moreover, most of these items were on the website rather than the television channel."
So will Press TV International provide a spokesperson who will be accountable for the website?
Richardson says for that to happen a spokesperson should first appear on Press TV: "Should the BBC wish someone to appear to represent Press TV for coverage, I think that it should probably first respond to our requests to interview them. Unfortunately, the BBC has not yet been available for interview."
But if BBC journalists or spokespeople take the lead of Martin Bright and others, they won't be doing that.
- Global Day of Action, July 25: http://united4iran.org/
- IFJ Condemns Latest Clampdown on Journalists in Iran