...They think by silencing those outlets (free alternative media), they would be able to control the flow of news and information and at the same time, cover up the events as they see fit.” Dr. Mohammad Sarafraz, the deputy head of the Islamic Republic of Iran's Broadcasting (IRIB)The deputy head of the Islamic Republic of Iran's Broadcasting (IRIB) says European countries have banned the broadcast of Iranian satellite channels because they fear truth-telling media outlets that expose mishandling of economic setbacks in Europe. “...They think by silencing those outlets (free alternative media), they would be able to control the flow of news and information and at the same time, cover up the events as they see fit,” Dr. Mohammad Sarafraz said in an interview with the IRIB on Tuesday. “They are now facing all [sorts of] challenges. On the one hand, they face domestic threats and on the other, they fear independent entities who pose a threat to their existence. That’s why they are seeking to mute them,” he added.
Sarafraz said the reality is that Europe and the West are having great difficulty dealing with ever-growing public anger over the handling of the continent’s economic crisis, and are thus seeking to silence media outlets that expose the mishandling.He said the justification behind banning Iranian channels is so feeble that even many Europeans have refused to accept it. He went on to say that the ban had come while terrorist groups, including the anti-Iran Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO), all have their own channels on Hot Bird. “There are even channels that broadcast programs that mock all religious sanctities and are explicit in [expressing] pure religious hatred, all in contravention of EU media regulations,” he added. Sarafraz further said Iranian channels can still be viewed by interested audience despite all the restrictions and added that the move may, in fact, increase the popularity of Iranian media. On Monday, European satellite provider Eutelsat SA ordered media services company Arqiva to take several Iranian satellite channels, including Press TV, off one of its Hot Bird frequencies following an order by the European Commission. The decision came after months of jamming of Iranian channels by European satellite companies. Observers believe the European Union does not respect freedom of speech, and spares no efforts to silence the voice of alternative media outlets. Experts also believe Press TV was targeted for angering certain European countries by covering thorny issues, including anti-austerity protests. AR/PKH/HN