Intelsat removes Press TV and other Iranian channels

Iran’s rulers make strenuous efforts to block the free flow of information and ideas from outside the country.

In October 2012, the European Union denounced Iran’s “deliberate jamming” of television and radio satellite broadcasts that deprive its citizens of access to free information, and called on Tehran to abide by global telecommunications laws.

“Since 2009, repeated waves of jamming have affected the signals of European satellites in the Middle East,” EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said in a statement.

“Such jamming, whose origin has been traced to Iran in particular, are [hampering] the broadcast of international media on Iranian territory.”

Among the affected broadcasters were Britain’s BBC Persian, France24, the US-funded Voice of America and Germany’s Deutsche Welle.

And of course Harry’s Place is only one of many subversive websites blocked by Iran’s cybercops.

So I’m afraid I can’t work up much sympathy for the Iranian regime on this news:

In a new phase of western sanctions on Iran, communications satellite service provider Intelsat took several Iranian channels off the air on Monday, including Press TV, Hispan TV and Al-Alam as well as IRIB 1 and 2 and Sahar TV.

Press TV had announced earlier that in a letter dated June 19, the Luxembourg based company said it will no longer provide services to Iranian channels, including Press TV, as of July 1. The reason given for the decision was that Intelset had to abide by US sanctions imposed on Iran’s state-run radio and TV company, Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), and its president, Ezzatollah Zarghami.

“The US hatched different plots since the victory of the Islamic Revolution in order to prevent the message of the Revolution from being exported and counter the anti-arrogance thoughts of the Iranian nation,” Zargahmi said on Thursday.

Press TV promptly sought out Lord Nazir Ahmed and former London mayor Ken Livingstone to denounce this alleged attack on freedom of speech.

Can you guess which lobby Lord Ahmed blames?

The clip of Obama and his buddy Netanyahu says it all.