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Common Dreams

US Pulls Plug on Iran Cable News

'A flagrant violation of freedom of speech'

by
Lauren McCauley, staff writer

As part of the United States expansive new sanctions against Iran, North American cable networks have pulled the plug on the country's state-run, English-language news network Press TV.

Calling the move a "flagrant violation of freedom of speech," Press TV announced Saturday that they had been dropped from the Galaxy 19 satellite platform which had previously broadcast the channel in the United States and Canada.

New sanctions announced by the US Treasury Department this week blacklisted Iran's state-run television network, the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), as well as its director, Ezatollah Zarghami.

“So long as Iran continues to fail to address the concerns of the international community about its nuclear program, the U.S. will impose tighter sanctions [...] against the Iranian regime,” David S. Cohen, Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, said in a statement. “We will also target those in Iran who are responsible for human right abuses, especially those who deny the Iranian people their basic freedoms of expression, assembly and speech.”

According to Al Jazeera, IRIB launched Press TV, Hispan and Arabic-language news channel Al-Alam in order to reach a wider global audience to broadcast world news and communicate pro-government views beyond Iran's borders.

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