In Iran, Fight Brews Over Blocked Broadcasts

Tehran blocking foreign broadcasts while sending out its own
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 27, 2011 5:25 AM CST
In Iran, Fight Brews Over Blocked Broadcasts
An Iranian woman checks her satellite dish on the roof of her apartment in Tehran.    (Getty Images)

Should Iran be allowed to use Western satellites to broadcast its state-run TV channels to dozens of countries while it continues to jam Persian language-channels from abroad? Human rights activists, who complain that Iran has stepped up censorship of channels such as the BBC and the Voice of America in recent months, are among those saying Tehran's propaganda channels should be cut off for as long as it continues to sabotage foreign broadcasts, the Wall Street Journal reports.

"Iran is having it both ways," a US State Department official says. "While they benefit from the international community's respect for 'freedom of expression' and 'freedom of the airwaves,' they deny that same right to their own citizens, aggressively jamming Persian-language broadcasts from other countries." Some US lawmakers, however, say they're hesitant to fight censorship with censorship. And Eutelsat, one of eight satellite companies that broadcast Iranian channels to a total of 45 countries, says it won't block any Iranian channels without "a clear order backed by law." (More Iran stories.)

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