Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran: March 20, 2016

Live, off-air, one-hour recording of the Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the external service of Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, in English on 20 March 2016 beginning at 19:19 UTC on shortwave frequencies of 6040 and 7425 kHz. According to registrations with the High Frequency Coordination Conference, this broadcast, aired daily, is beamed to Europe and southern Africa. The 6040 kHz signal originates from a 500 kW transmitter at Sirjan, Iran, with an antenna beam azimuth of 313° while the 7425 kHz signal originates from a 500 kW transmitter at Kamalabad, Iran, with an antenna beam azimuth of 298°. Additional frequencies are used for southern Africa. The recording initially used 7425 kHz but switched to 6040 kHz at about 19:29:29 UTC.     

This broadcast celebrates, in part, Nowruz (نوروز -- literally, New Day), the Persian New Year, which coincides with the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. 20 March 2016 is the first day of the Persian calendar year 1395.

The broadcast had a crash start and the recording begins with a religious program in progress. At 7m:43s, there is a complete station ID with times and frequencies. This is followed by the news bulletin theme music loop until the clock chimes at about 10m:47s (19:30 UTC) and then the World News. The news included items on Nowruz including reports from different cities celebrating the New Year. The news is followed by the Listeners Special program, which also features a discussion of Nowruz. The broadcast ends with a special item on Nowruz. Unfortunately, it ends abruptly in mid-sentence when the 6040 kHz transmitter left the air at about 10 seconds after 20:20 UTC.

The broadcast was received by the Web-interface wideband software-defined radio at the University of Twente in Enschede, The Netherlands, with a "Mini-Whip" antenna in AM mode with 5.09 kHz total bandwidth RF filtering. Reception was good on 7425 kHz but with some adjacent frequency interference while it was excellent with a strong interference-free signal on 6040 kHz.