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Iranian Media Cut-off from International Broadcast as Part of EU Sanctions reports Codis-Satellite

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(EMAILWIRE.COM, October 26, 2012 ) San Francisco, CA -- Nineteen Iranian television and radio broadcasters have been pulled off the airwaves after European Union sanctions against the Middle Eastern country went into effect last week. The sanctions levied at the Islamic Republic are meant to punish the country for continuing human rights abuses.

While Iranian citizens still have access to the sanctioned networks courtesy of the state-run station Irib, the sanctioned broadcasters can no longer reach out to European airwaves.

The satellite provider Eutelsat, in conjunction with media company Arqiva, blocked the Irib channels last Monday on account of reinforced EU council sanctions, said Eutelsat spokesperson Vanessa OConnor. The Iranian broadcaster had access to Eutelsat through a contract with Arqiva.

Iranian Press TV insisted that Irib had the option of pursuing legal action against the satellite provider in response to the cut-off. Eutelsat has not commented on the financial repercussions of the decision.

The EU sanctions, adopted by the council in March, focus on punishing the chief of Irib based on what it perceived as human rights violations in its programming, said Eutelsat.

Iran has been under increasing pressure from the EU to be more transparent about its nuclear program.

Press TV, Irans English-speaking broadcaster, is reporting that it is among the channels affected by the sanctions, along with Farsi-speaking channels for ex-pats, including the news station Al-Alam.

Other sanctions against Iran from the EU council include a ban on natural gas imports, financial transactions (excluding approved humanitarian goods), tightened restrictions on new business deals, and bans on materials that could potentially be used to bolster the countrys nuclear program, including graphite and certain metals.

Assets belonging the National Iranian Oil Company, a world leader in crude oil exports, were also frozen last Monday, along with those of the National Iranian Tanker Company, based on an assessment that both institutions provide financial support to the government.

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