Authorities in Tehran slammed the EU over its gagging of 19 Iranian satellite channels which coincided with the latest round of sanctions, one of the toughest yet. The shutdown is a big attack on freedom of speech, analyst Chris Bamberry told RT.
France’s Eutelsat and UK’s Arqiva satellite providers made a decision to stop broadcasting the Iranian state TV channels on Monday.
The news outlets that were blocked included Press TV in English and Al-Alam in Arabic.
The shutdown came shortly after the European Union imposed fresh sanctions against Iran including an embargo on the import of the country’s natural gas.
Mohammed Sarafraz, vice-president of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), has slammed the decision to stop broadcasting the 19 channels as “political”.
He told the Business Recorder that “the contract was still valid, and Eutelsat broke the contract between us unilaterally and without legal justification,” adding that IRIB lawyers were planning to launch a formal complaint.
Press TV says that in a separate statement emailed to them, Arqiva said that the decision was made by the EU Council.
“We terminated the contracts because it was the order of the European Commission. We have to follow it,” Karen Badalov, area management of Eutelsat SA, reportedly told Press TV.