X

US Seizes Iranian Websites Including PressTV

July 18th, 2021 18:47

Reuters report­ed last month that the US Jus­tice Depart­ment had seized 36 Iran­ian-linked web­sites said to be asso­ci­at­ed with either dis­in­for­ma­tion or vio­lent orga­ni­za­tions. Accord­ing to the report, the seizures includ­ed PressTV:

DUBAI, June 22 (Reuters) — The U.S. Jus­tice Depart­ment said on Tues­day it seized 36 Iran­ian-linked web­sites, many of them asso­ci­at­ed with either dis­in­for­ma­tion activ­i­ties or vio­lent orga­ni­za­tions, tak­ing them offline for vio­lat­ing U.S. sanc­tions. Sev­er­al of the sites were back online with­in hours with new domain address­es. “Today, pur­suant to court orders, the Unit­ed States seized 33 web­sites used by the Iran­ian Islam­ic Radio and Tele­vi­sion Union (IRTVU) and three web­sites oper­at­ed by Kata’ib Hizbal­lah (KH), in vio­la­tion of U.S. sanc­tions,” the depart­ment said in a state­ment.  Also spelled Kataib Hezbol­lah, KH is one of the main Iran-aligned Iraqi mili­tia groups and has been des­ig­nat­ed a For­eign Ter­ror­ist Orga­ni­za­tion by the Unit­ed States. The sites seized includ­ed Press TV, the Iran­ian gov­ern­men­t’s main Eng­lish-lan­guage satel­lite tele­vi­sion chan­nel, and Al Alam, its Ara­bic-lan­guage equiv­a­lent. Both came back online using Iran­ian domain address­es Alalam.ir and Presstv.ir.

Read the rest here.

Press TV is part of the media struc­ture of the Iran­ian influ­ence net­work. It was found­ed in 2007 and is spon­sored by the Islam­ic Repub­lic of Iran Broad­cast­ing, Iran’s state-run tele­vi­sion oper­a­tion. Accord­ing to its web­site, Press TV “takes rev­o­lu­tion­ary steps as the first Eng­lish broad­cast­ing inter­na­tion­al Iran­ian news net­work.” Press TV had its UK broad­cast­ing license revoked in Jan­u­ary 2012 by British communication’s reg­u­la­tor Ofcom, which found that the chan­nel was run­ning its edi­to­r­i­al from Tehran and not from the UK, thus breach­ing the Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Act. In the UK, the chan­nel is direct­ed by film direc­tor and writer Hamid Khairoldin, who is also con­nect­ed to oth­er pro-Iran­ian media out­lets. A 2015 report by the US Anti-Defama­tion League details var­i­ous anti­se­mit­ic themes and con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries pro­mot­ed in its programs.

GIOR report­ing on Press TV has included:

  • A June 2020 report that Iran could poten­tial­ly shut down PressTV.
  • A Jan­u­ary 2021 report that Face­book had briefly dis­abled and then restored the PressTV page.
  • A Jan­u­ary 2021 report that PressTV  had pub­lished an arti­cle by an Amer­i­can author and describ­ing the COVID vac­ci­na­tion pro­gram in the West as a “a wide­spread crime against humanity.’