Iran's Press TV taken off-air in United States

Despite protests around the First Amendment, Iran's state-funded Press TV has been removed from the Galaxy 19 satellite

by The Commentator on 10 February 2013 10:14

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The Iranian state-funded Press TV channel was briefly removed from the Galaxy 19 satellite yesterday, forcing the company to reroute its broadcasts in order to service viewers in the United States and Canada.

While Press TV have insisted that the block was "another flagrant violation of freedom of speech", experts say the block may have been part of extended Western sanctions imposed against Iran over its nuclear programme.

Despite this, Press TV is now said to be broadcasting on the same satellite once more, albeit over a different frequency. 

Sanctions announced by the US Treasury Department this week blacklisted the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) and its director, Ezatollah Zarghami, which oversees Iran’s broadcast channels.

The Commentator has previously reported of British outlets accepting payment from Press TV or IRIB in exchange for advertising.

The Galaxy 19 satellite is owned by Intelsat, a company based in Luxembourg, who have, as yet, not commented on the matter and this is not the first time the Iranian propaganda outlet has been targeted.

In October 2012, the Paris-based Eutelsat, one of Europe's leading satellite providers, cut Iranian state television and radio broadcasts to comply with tougher European Union sanctions on the Islamic Republic. The Eutelsat decision hit 19 channels provided by IRIB, including Press TV.

In January of this year, the Spanish government also ordered the Press-TV-affiliated Spanish language channel Hispan to stop broadcast on the Hotbird satellite platform.

Iran's state-run television network launched Press TV, Hispan and Arabic-language news channel Al-Alam in order to reach a wider global audience for its propaganda. Press TV has often been on the receiving end of widespread criticism for its hysterical reporting.

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