First modification: 06/23/2021 – 04:24
US law enforcement has terminated access to the websites of two Iranian state-controlled newsgroups, Press TV and Al-Alam, as well as the Yemeni Houthi television channel Al-Masirah.
As of this Tuesday, June 22, 2021, each American attempt to enter the websites of the Iranian state media pages will only yield this brief phrase: “the page has been seized by the United States Government” .
The notice, which also makes a short reference to the White House sanctions, is accompanied by the seal of the FBI and the US Department of Commerce.
The blockade affects Press TV, Iran’s main English channel, and Al-Alam, Iran’s largest Arabic news network.
The Islamic Republic of Iran Radio (IRIB), Al-Alam’s parent, reported that other web domains were also seized, including Palestine-Al Youm, a Palestinian-run station, as well as a religious and cultural channel. in Arabic.
Domains linked to Iran-backed groups in Iraq and Hezbollah, the Lebanese political-military faction, were also frozen by the US Department of Justice.
IRIB accused the United States of suppressing freedom of expression and joining forces with Israel and Saudi Arabia “to block the media that expose the crimes of US allies in the region.”
When journalists asked during a State Department briefing about the Press TV lockdown, spokesman Ned Price declined to comment, but referred reporters to the Justice Department, which said it would provide more information soon.
Bahrain’s LuaLua TV, a channel run by opposition groups with offices in London and Beirut, was also shut down, according to an AFP correspondent in the region.
In Yemen, the Houthis said on their website that they condemned “this American piracy and copyright seizure.”
“The Government of the United States of America is banning the Al-Masirah website without any justification or even prior notice,” they denounced. A-Masirah quickly established a new website, using his name but changing the domain from ‘.net’ to ‘.com’.
The United States maintains strict sanctions on Iran due to its nuclear weapons program and alleged support for terrorism. The sanctions prohibit Americans, as well as companies and organizations with US operations, from doing business with the Islamic Republic.
The US action comes as Washington seeks to restore the 2015 Agreement between Tehran and six major powers to freeze its nuclear actions in exchange for lifting sanctions.
It also occurs right after the Iranians elected ultra-conservative cleric Ibrahim Raisi as president.