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'Media censorship, sanctions' part of US policy to overthrow governments: Analyst

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
French satellite operator Eutelsat has confirmed its decision to take the English-language news network Press TV off the air. (File Photo)

Information warfare and sanctions are part of the US government's foreign policy designed to overthrow independent governments and create chaos in other countries, according to a commentator.

Benjamin Norton, founder and editor of independent news outlet Multipolarista, made the remarks on Press TV’s Spotlight program on Thursday.

“Western governments say that they are committed to freedom of speech, that freedom of speech ends at foreign media Outlets. They constantly criticize foreign governments for supposedly violating freedom of speech when they themselves are violating freedom of speech," Norton stressed.

"It also shows that Western governments which claim to be democratic clearly don't think their own populations are smart enough to be able to hear a variety of different perspectives,” he hastened to add.

It is worth noting that French satellite operator Eutelsat recently announced its widely-criticized decision to suspend all broadcasting services to the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) as well as three Russian channels.

"Pursuant to the Council of the EU Regulation 2022/2428 dated 12 December 2022, Eutelsat has ceased all Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB)-related broadcasting activity," Eutelsat said in a statement on Thursday.

The statement added that the satellite operator as of Wednesday “ended all involvement in the broadcasting of three [Russian] channels Rossiya One, Pervyi Kanal and NTV, within the prescribed 7-day compliance period."

Norton said the Western governments think their own people are "stupid" and they don't have the right to access other sources of information.

"Not only are they banning them, but they are also imposing sanctions on the companies that are responsible for these media outlets, so not only is it a form of censorship, it is a form of an economic attack on foreign media outlets to prevent them from being able to share their perspective and share information that is censored in Western media,” he told the Press TV program. 

According to the Eutelsat statement, the satellite operator has also ensured that it is not involved in the broadcasting of RT News in Russia in line with the process of implementing or preparing for the implementation of the aforementioned measures.

As a result of these measures, the company said it will take a bottom-line hit of around 10 to 15 million euros ($16 million) to its full-year revenues.

Norton said there are certain geopolitical motives behind these decisions to censor some media outlets that are challenging Western expression.

“If you look at US policy toward Iran, the constant coup attempts, the hybrid warfare that the United States is waging against Iran and against the people of Iran, we can see that the censorship of media outlets and the sanctions are part of an overall hybrid war," he said.

"The character of war has changed over time more and more; war is done through unconventional means and censorship sanctions, cyber attacks, information warfare, psychological warfare, it is all part of Washington's attempt to overthrow independent sovereign governments."

Norton went on to stress that the media organization or media activists who have over the years sought to challenge US policies or reveal government policies have faced the axe. 

“We’ve seen it, again and again, award-winning mainstream journalists like Chris Hedges who worked at the New York Times for a long time, he criticized the Iraq War and they pushed him out. That's how the system works,” he said.

Western Empire wants to keep people ignorant: analyst

John Bosnitch, a journalist and political analyst, in his remarks on the Press TV show, said the censorship of Iranian television channels, including Press TV, is an "affront to freedom of expression" for different opinions to be heard in the world's media.

“For the Western Anglo-American Empire, the biggest power is ignorance. They keep their own people ignorant, and it is to quote George Orwell from 1984 when he coined the phrase ignorance is strength,” Bosnitch said.

“It's the essential weapon of the information era. Media control, censorship, blocking of users, the weaponization of Silicon Valley as a front line along with Hollywood of the Anglo-imperial attempt to run everything on the earth not for anybody's benefit locally but to extract from every country outside of their empire and inside of their empire the resources, the capital and the labor needed to make them even wealthier than they are today,” he added.

On November 14, the European Union imposed sanctions on a number of Iranian institutions and individuals, including Press TV, over alleged “rights violations” following the foreign-backed riots in the country.

On December 7, Eutelsat notified Press TV of its plan to take the English-language news network off air, sparking anger and outrage.

Press TV has repeatedly fallen victim to censorship on multiple social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

Eutelsat is a French satellite operator providing coverage over the entire European continent, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and the Americas. It is the world's third-largest satellite operator in terms of revenues.

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku