A member of Majlis (Iranian Parliament) Cultural Committee says the recent attack in Syria against Iranian TV channels proves the West “cannot tolerate any dissenting voice.” “The West, through this measure, showed that, when it comes to the freedom of speech, [it] has suffered bankruptcy, and cannot tolerate any dissenting voice,” Islamic Consultative Assembly News Agency (ICANA), Majlis official news agency, quoted Nasrollah Pejmanfar as saying on Sunday. “The Iranian channels have managed to ruin the West’s media imperialism and that is why the West has easily turned to the physical removal of these media,” he added.
The lawmaker also referred to the West’s ban on Iranian satellite channels, adding, “The free flow of information cannot be hampered,” and people seek “other means to have access to facts.”On Friday, two young men, who were caught on camera, approached an SNG (satellite news gathering) truck belonging to Press TV and Al-Alam television networks in Damascus. One of them quickly attached an explosive device to the bottom of the vehicle near Press TV office and ran away. The bomb exploded but no one was hurt as a result of the blast. Several other vehicles surrounding the area were also damaged. The Syrian crisis began in March 2011, and many people, including large numbers of Army and security personnel, have been killed. Damascus says that the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of the militants fighting the Syrian government are foreign nationals. Also on Friday, a US Senate approved a new round of sanctions against Iran over its nuclear energy program, which also imposed restrictions on the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) and its head, Ezzatollah Zarghami. The ratification is meant to block all the IRIB assets and prevent others from doing business with it. In flagrant violation of freedom of speech, French-based satellite provider, Eutelsat ordered the media services company Arqiva on October 15 to stop the broadcast of several Iranian satellite channels. The Iranian channels subject of the restrictive order include Press TV, Al-Alam, Jam-e-Jam 1 and 2, Sahar 1 and 2, Islamic Republic of Iran News Network, Quran TV, and the Arabic-language channel, al-Kawthar. The decision follows months of jamming of Iranian channels by European satellite companies. Meanwhile, the EU has denied claims by European satellite companies that it ordered the providers to take Iranian channels off air, saying that the companies have acted on their own accord. NT/HN