The Islamic Radio and Television Union (IRTVU) has denounced the US government for blocking the domains of some media outlets that are members of the union, saying such acts run counter to Washington’s claim of upholding freedom of speech around the world.
“The actions of the United States, which claims to uphold liberties and the foundations of democracy, are a source of surprise and have exposed their false claims and double standard in dealing with different media outlets,” the IRTVU said in a statement.
“The United States has always turned a blind eye to many of its allies’ crimes,” the union said, noting that the act of censorship coincided with the Israel regime’s crimes against the Palestinian people.
The IRTVU also said it was proud of being in the front line of countering the terrorist policies of the US, adding the US measure demonstrated its frustration in responding words with words, arguments with arguments, and photos with photos.
“US politicians are not tolerant toward the spread of the truth by websites and networks that expose their ugly face before the world and cut their hands off of the region,” the statement read.
According to the IRTVU, the United States justifies its interventions in the world under the pretext of upholding freedom of thought and human rights.
It imposes “pressure and sanctions on various countries and institutions, and tries to legitimize its atrocities by muzzling mouths, suppressing freedom-seeking voices, and relying on self-written laws and violation of democracy,” it added.
The US Justice Department announced on Wednesday that it had seized 33 media websites used by the Iranian Islamic Radio and Television Union, as well as three of the Iraqi anti-terror Kata’ib Hezbollah group, which it said were hosted on US-owned domains in violation of sanctions.
It came a day after a message appeared on the websites of a series of Iranian and regional television networks that claimed their domains had been “seized by the United States Government,” accompanied by the seals of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the US Commerce Department.
The notice, which also appeared on the website of the English-language TV news network Press TV, cited US sanctions laws as the reason for the seizure.
The websites of Iran's Arabic-language Al Alam television news network, Yemen’s al-Masirah TV channel, and Bahrain's Lualua television network were also among the targeted outlets.
Over the past years, the United States has, for several times, taken similar measures against Iranian media outlets, especially Press TV, whose accounts on Twitter, Instagram, and Google-owned services have been targeted.
Following the Tuesday seizure, Press TV announced that its website will be available through its .ir domain.
In a statement on Thursday night, Press TV’s editorial board argued that the reason behind its censorship is that the US has lost its narrative-based dominance in the world, as a result of which it is now desperately resorting to attempts to silence dissenting voices.