The BBC has issued an apology for distorting the name of the Persian Gulf in one of its travel programmes, insisting it was a “genuine mistake” for calling the waterway the ‘Arabian Gulf.’

Panelists asserted that even in the face of severe government repression, the vibrancy of Iran’s blogosphere is offering the international community opportunities to develop citizen diplomacy and people-to-people connections with Iranians.

100,000 tourists came from Iran to Azerbaijan on the eve of Novruz holiday, Azerbaijani ambassador to Iran Javanshir Akhundov informed. “Cultural relations, love remove borders. The relations between the two countries are strengthening. The religion, language and culture of the peoples of the two countries help them communicate easily,” he said.

The United States looks short of Iran options. Even President Barack Obama acknowledges that new sanctions might fail, but has not laid out another plan.

Considering the current relationship between the countries, it is not odd for the United States to be cautious of Iran's cultural influence, but one should be aware of the fact that Iran's approach to public diplomacy and its infrastructure is much different from a simple image-making or policy advocacy method.

Recent public diplomacy reports and testimonies released by both congress and government policy makers in Washington indicate concerns over Iran's growing cultural influence. It was a year ago when Senate Foreign Relations Committee's report warned about the growing number of Islamic Republic's Cultural Centers.

Iranian and Turkish officials in a meeting in Tehran on Wednesday stressed expansion of bilateral relations in the field of media. The issue was raised in a meeting between Head of Turkey's state-run radio and TV (TRT) Ebrahim Shahin and his Iranian counterpart Ezzatollah Zarqami.

As the US and its allies push for swift UN sanctions against Iran, Turkey urges diplomacy to settle the ongoing dispute over the Islamic Republic's nuclear program.