Intelsat halts services to Iranian TV channels

Intelsat halts services to Iranian TV channels
Thu Jun 20, 2013 18:34:16

Communications satellite services provider Intelsat has announced the suspension of its services to the channels launched from Iran as the West's campaign against free speech intensifies.

On Wednesday, the Luxembourg-based company said it will no longer provide services to Iranian channels including Press TV. The decision has been made under the pretext of the company's abiding by illegal sanctions against the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) - that's Iran's national broadcasting corporation.

Intelsat noted that it has been ordered by the US government to avoid extending IRIB’s license, noting that it will stop providing services as of July 1st.

Press TV and other Iranian channels have come under an unprecedented wave of attacks by European governments and satellite companies since January 2012.

They have been taken off the air in several Western countries, including Britain, France, Germany and Spain.

European companies say they are abiding by anti-Iran sanctions. However, EU foreign policy chief's spokesman, Michael Mann, has told Press TV that sanctions do not apply to media.

In the meantime, the French-Israeli CEO of Europe's satellite giant, Eutelsat, has written letters to several satellite companies, asking them to stop cooperating with Iranian channels.

The Israeli lobby in the United States has also publicly supported European attempts to shut down Press TV.

Media activists call the attacks on Iranian channels a campaign against free speech launched by the same European governments that preach freedom of expression.

string(172) "[{"id":"1463346","sort":"3038191","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/04/11/alalam_635013117439469319_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Al-alam starts broadcasting on EUTELSAT 7 WEST"} ]"