EU ban on Press TV unreasonable: Press TV CEO

EU ban on Press TV unreasonable: Press TV CEO
Wed Mar 13, 2013 20:38:17

Deputy head of Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) for world service and Press TV CEO Mohammad Sarafraz has dismissed the European Union (EU) travel ban on him and a director of Iran’s English-language news channel as “unreasonable.”

“A media ban has been imposed for the first time in the world, showing the irrationality of the European Union and the influence of the [Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting's] world service,” Sarafraz said.


He pointed out that EU leaders have imposed the bans over a 10-second report about Iranian-Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari, who worked for Newsweek in Tehran.


On Tuesday, the European bloc blacklisted Sarafraz and Press TV Newsroom Director Hamid Reza Emadi for airing the interview with Bahari in 2009 following post-election riots in Iran.


Sarafraz said EU officials have given no response to Press TV questions about the imposition of the bans.


“In the text [of sanctions as published in the European Council’s official journal], it has been mentioned that Ofcom, an independent medium, has banned Press TV, but it is not an independent medium because its budget is approved by the UK parliament and its chief is appointed by [a] British secretary,” he noted.


“They think we, Iranians, are desperate to travel to Europe and open bank accounts in a continent which has been hit by harsh austerity measures due to economic difficulties,” he said.


“These bans and restrictions are not disturbing at all because they show we have achieved our goals and how influential we have become,” he added.


Sarafraz said Press TV has opened a new window for the public opinion in Europe where Capitalism has created a “hell” for people.


The Press TV CEO singled out Spain where people have been taking to the streets in 60 cities, adding that officials in the country are driving Spaniards to suicide as their foreclosure law strips those who fail to pay their mortgages of their homes.


“For example in Spain, people are on the streets in all cities. This movement is no less significant than the [2011] Egyptian Revolution because Capitalism has reached an impasse and is pressuring the nations,” he said.


“Under such conditions, the revelations by [Iranian] world service media has forced them to forget about all [legal] frameworks because they are running out of logic,” he said.


“They are dictators and bullying powers of this world that imagine that the world would accept whatever they would say. But the current rulers of Europe are descendants of the same dictators who imposed two global wars on the world.”


Sarafraz also referred to European satellite provider Eutelsat’s ban on Press TV and other Iranian channels, saying, “This behavior shows that their tolerance is low and they pull the plug on satellite channels based on an unreasonable logic with awkward reasons.”


“It shows that these [banned] channels are influential, because out of tens of thousands of satellite channels whose contents include corruption, superstition, insult against other religions and even teaching terrorist operations, none of them face broadcasting obstacles, [but Iran’s] world service news channels are pulled off the air because they can attract audience and be influential,” he stated.


“The Eutelsat chief is a Zionist who regularly writes letters and threatens other satellites to take Iranian channels off the air, but some [of satellite providers] do not accept and are legally resisting these illogical measures,” Sarafraz said.


“By pulling the plug on and banning the [Iranian] world service media, they will not manage to cut this independence voice and they will [further] lose face,” he noted.

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