Iranian Press TV dropped by Intelsat as further sanctions bite

The banning of Press TV from a key European satellite has led one British member of the House of Lords to blame the "Zionist lobby"

by The Commentator on 11 July 2013 12:50


At the beginning of this month, the Iranian state broadcaster Press TV was dropped from the Intelsat satellite, making it all the more difficult for the television channel to reach audiences in Europe.

Other channels such as Hispan TV, Al-Alam, IRIB 1 and 2 and Sahar TV were all removed at the same time, withthe Luxembourg based Intelsat stating that it will no longer provide services to Iranian channels as of July 1st.

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.

But protests from the Iranian government have thus far fallen on deaf ears, in no small part due to the regime's own hypocrisy in this area. The Iranian government continues to jam signals from European satellites into Iran, a policy dating back to 2009.  Among the affected broadcasters are BBC Persian, France24, the US-funded Voice of America and Germany’s Deutsche Welle.

But some members of the British establishment are upset by the block. George Galloway, the Member of Parliament for Bradford West, who refuses to debate some people on the basis of their ethnicity, and who has recently lauded Syrian President Bashar al-Assad currently hosts a television programme for Press TV.

Lord Ahmed, who recently stepped down from the Labour Party over anti-Semitic comments, has blamed the "Zionist lobby" for the banning of Press TV. He said in an interview with Press TV, "It's very unfortunate tthat the Zionist lobby does not like Press TV and many of the other media outlets of Iran and that's why the pressure is so much that they need to be switched off". 

The move comes over a year after British communications regulator Ofcom revoked Press TV's broadcast licence after the station failed to pay a fine for broadcasting an "interview" which was conducted under duress. 

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