The new ban on the broadcast of several Iranian TV and radio channels by the western satellite service providers violates the most basic principles of the freedom of information and expression, Iranian Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Seyed Mohammad Hosseini said.
The West committed “totally illegal” act to take the Iranian channels off the air regardless of mutual contracts and agreements, Hosseini told reporters on Tuesday.
“We should undertake legal and political measures and exhaust all options to bar western countries from achieving their objectives,” the minister added.
He said the Western governments cannot stand the “voice of truth” about their existing challenges and their contradictory attitude vis-à-vis Muslim states like Palestine.
“The Western countries’ move to stop the broadcast of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting’s (IRIB) channels indicates the influence of these channels around the world,” Hosseini stated.
He emphasized that Western countries' act is in contrast to their claims.
On Monday, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Araqchi said, “We strongly condemn this illegal act. Intel Sat is part of the International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (ITSO) and its duty is to provide satellite service to member countries without any discrimination".
Araqchi said that Iran has been an ITSO member since 1972, and based on the organization's regulations, Intel Sat should respect Iran's basic rights.
The Iranian government has started to investigate the illegal ban on its media and is going to negotiate with the Intel Sat authorities to settle the dispute, he pointed out.
The fact that the United States puts a company under pressure to cut its services to Iran basically contradicts to the West’s claims on the very basic rules of human rights and freedom of speech, Araqchi said referring to Washington’s anti-Iran policies and its pressures on companies who preserve ties with the Islamic Republic.
In their campaign against alternative voices and freedom of speech, a number of western satellite firms pulled the plug on several Iranian television channels, including Alalam News Network.
Also in January, the government of Spain asked the country's major satellite provider Hispasat to take an Iranian satellite channel off the air in a blatant violation of freedom of speech.
The move came a month after the Spanish satellite company - Hispasat - terminated the terrestrial broadcast of Hispan TV.
Hispan TV, along with Iran's 24-hour English language news channel Press TV, were targeted by Hispasat's fellow European satellite providers Eutelsat and Hotbird. Hispasat is partly owned by Eutelsat, whose French-Israeli CEO was blamed for the wave of attacks on Iranian media in Europe.
Also, in a flagrant violation of the freedom of speech, European satellite service providers Eutelsat SA and Intelsat ordered media services company Arqiva on October 15 to stop the broadcast of several Iranian satellite channels, including Press TV, alalam, Jam-e-Jam 1 and 2, Sahar 1 and 2, Islamic Republic of Iran News Network, Quran TV, and the Arabic-language al-Kawthar TV.