'US, Europe seek to block al-Alam influence'

'US, Europe seek to block al-Alam influence'
Sun Jun 30, 2013 19:32:35

The United States and Europe are seeking to block the influence of Iran’s Arabic news channel al-Alam by forcing satellite providers to take the channel off air, an expert says.

“Al-Alam and other Iranian channels would not face such sanctions if they weren’t active and effective,” Bassam Tahhan, an expert on political geography, told al-Alam on Sunday.

He called the action against Iranian media a “ridiculous show,” saying it is a declaration of war on freedom of speech.

On June 19, Intelsat told Iran's national broadcasting corporation, Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), that it will no longer provide services to Iranian channels, including Press TV and al-Alam, as of July 1 because of the US sanctions.

Now, José Manuel Do Rosario Toscano, the director general of The International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (ITSO), which oversees Intelsat's global services, has asked both Intelsat and the US to hold talks with Iran on the issue.
The organization has proposed a meeting on July 3 at the organization's headquarters in Washington or in Geneva.

ITSO is an inter-governmental organization tasked with ensuring that Intelsat provides services on a global and non-discriminatory basis. It has 149 members, including Iran. In addition to being a member, Iran was previously a shareholder of the organization.