'Ban on Al Alam aimed at stifling resistance voice'

'Ban on Al Alam aimed at stifling resistance voice'
Tue Jul 2, 2013 15:56:57

Palestinian political figures and media activists have slammed the latest Western move against Iranian satellite channels including Al Alam as an attempt to silence the voice of resistance.

Ahmed Almudallal, a ranking member of Palestinian movement Islamic Jihad, told Al Alam on Tuesday that the United States does not want to allow a television channel like Iran’s satellite Arabic news network to broadcast outside the framework of the West’s mainstream media and illustrate the role of resistance.

Meanwhile, Jameel Mozhar of the central committee of the People’s Front for the Liberation of Palestine, said Al Alam television conveys the message of resistance in the region, which the United States and the Israeli regime cannot tolerate.

Walid al-Awadh, another Palestinian political figure, believes the Iranian news network has covered the regional developments and Palestinians’ plight and their struggle against the Tel Aviv regime, which has not been viewed favorably by the adversary powers.

Other Palestinian media activists have said that Al Alam’s full coverage of the Arab world protests against Western-backed dictatorial regimes over the past two years have led to the latest move against the Iranian channel.

On Monday, a number of Western satellite companies took several Iranian television channels off the air.

The Intel Sat company became the latest service provider to pull the plug on Iranian channels including Al Alam.

Meanwhile, other satellite firms like Eutelsat 8 and Galaxy 19 as well as HotBird 13B also stopped airing Al Alam.

Iran's general entertainment television network iFilm -- which broadcasts in both English and Arabic --was also taken off the air by Eutelsat 21-B, Eutelsat 25-C, Hotbird 13-B, Eutelsat 7-West-A, Intelsat 20, and Optus D-2.

Broadcasting of another Iranian channel, called al-Kawthar, was stopped by Eutelsat 8-West-A, Eutelsat 7-West-A, and Galaxy 19.

On Sunday, the International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (ITSO) called on the United States and Intelsat to suspend their decision on taking Iranian channels off the air.

José Manuel Do Rosario Toscano, the director general of ITSO, which oversees Intelsat's global services, asked both Intelsat and the US to hold talks with Iran on the issue.

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 as of July 1 because of US sanctions.

Iranian satellite channels have come under a wave of attacks by European governments and satellite companies since January 2012, and have been taken off the air in several Western countries, including Britain, France, Germany and Spain.

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