AFP journalist Jay Deshmukh expelled from Iran

AFP journalist Jay Deshmukh expelled from Iran

AFP chief executive Emmanuel Hoog immediately lodged an official protest with the Iranian authorities, both in Tehran and Paris.

"I want to express my indignation. AFP is dedicated to providing rigorous and balanced coverage of events in Iran as it does everywhere," Hoog said.

"Jay Desmukh, in common with the whole of the Tehran bureau, does a great job and with a professionalism that is universally recognised. Thus to attack this journalist and AFP, as the Iran authorities have done, is totally unjust and unjustifiable."

Deshmukh was stripped of his press card along with 10 other correspondents on February 15, the day after the most significant protest in Tehran for a year. The protest drew large coverage by most of the international media, including AFP.

"Jay is a highly professional and experienced journalist. His expulsion is incomprehensible and unacceptable," said AFP global news director Philippe Massonnet. "AFP's journalists in Tehran carry out their task in exemplary fashion."

Deshmukh, a 40-year-old Indian national, had been in the country since January 2009. He joined AFP in 2001 in Mumbai and worked at the agency's Baghdad office from 2005 until 2008.