Satellite giant Eutelsat has stepped up its campaign against Iranian media, threatening European service providers with US sanctions, if they continue broadcasting TV channels launched from Iran. Press TV has obtained some of the letters, which Michel de Rosen, the French-Israeli CEO of Eutelsat, has written to satellite companies warning them against providing services to Iranian media. He has said that if European satellite companies do not comply with US sanctions against Iran’s national broadcasting corporation, their assets will be frozen by the government of the United States. De Rosen has also warned service providers that their officials will be denied entry into the US, if they broadcast Iranian channels.
“Mr. De Rosen initially raised the issue of EU sanctions against Iran. But when I talked directly with the EU foreign policy chief’s spokesperson, Mr. Michael Mann, and aired his comments that EU sanctions did not apply to Iranian media, Mr. De Rosen suddenly changed the story,” said Hamid Reza Emadi, Press TV’s newsroom director. “All of a sudden, Mr. De Rosen starts focusing on US sanctions and completely forgets about the EU embargo that he so passionately talked about before,” he added.Emadi said Press TV and other Iranian channels have come under immense pressure from European satellite companies in the past 18 months. “It’s clear that somebody is driving this forward and it could not be anyone but the Israeli lobby that’s very much active both in the US and in Europe. The fact that the American Jewish Committee has openly welcomed the shutting down of Iranian channels shows the extent to which they are satisfied with the work of Eutelsat and its pro-Zionist CEO,” he said. In January 2012, Press TV was taken off the air in the UK after the British government’s media regulatory body banned the alternative channel for what it called were ‘administrative reasons’. The decision was followed by satellite providers in Germany, France, Spain and some other western and Arab countries. They banned Press TV together with Iran’s Spanish-language television Hispan TV and their Arabic-language sister channel al-Alam. Iranian channels are vocal critics of Israel’s occupation of Palestine as well as atrocities committed against the Palestinian people. They have spoken openly against the United States’ wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as the European governments’ violent crackdown on anti-austerity protests. “Under article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, no one is allowed to limit public access to free flow of information. So those who do so violate international human rights norms and must be held accountable,” Emadi said, calling on international human rights organizations to condemn what he called the unprecedented wave of attacks on Iranian media. HSN/HMV