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Australia sanctions Iranian individuals, Press TV in yet another affront to free speech

In yet another attack spearheaded by the West against freedom of speech in Iran, the Australian government has imposed a fresh round of sanctions on a number of Iranian individuals and entities, including the English-language Press TV news network, on the anniversary of foreign-backed riots in the country.

The Australian Foreign Ministry announced in a media release on Wednesday that the restrictive measures, including financial sanctions and travel bans, targeted four individuals and three entities over what it claimed was “human rights violations” in Iran.

Iran’s police spokesman General Saeed Montazer-al-Mahdi was among the sanctioned individuals, and the targeted entities include Iran’s Cyber Police and Tehran-based Press TV news channel.

Accusing the Islamic Republic of the “oppression of people” in country, the ministry said the sanctions, the first by the Australian government, were levied on the first anniversary of the death of Mahsa Amini, an Iranian woman of Kurdish descent.

The 22-year-old died in a hospital in Tehran days after she was detained by police on September 15.

Despite clarification on the circumstances surrounding her death, protests erupted in the country, which later turned violent and led to attacks on security officers and acts of vandalism against public property as well as police vehicles and ambulances.

Comprehensive investigations carried out by the Iranian Parliament (Majlis) and Iran’s Legal Medicine Organization ruled out the use of force on the woman, pointing to her medical history and brain surgery years ago.

The foreign-backed violent riots claimed dozens of lives from both security forces and innocent people as the Western media and Persian-language news networks continued to instigate unrest in Iran.

The latest anti-Iran measure by the Australian government comes as the West has a bleak history of gagging the Islamic Republic’s media apparatuses over groundless and unsubstantiated allegations of human rights violations.

In November last year, the European Union imposed sanctions on a number of Iranian institutions and individuals, including Press TV, following the riots and weeks later, the French satellite operator Eutelsat threatened to take the English-language news network off the air.

“The West has tried to stop the broadcasting of Iranian channels’ programs on satellites in the past and this action is not a new issue,” Ahmad Norouzi, the head of IRIB World Service and the CEO of Press TV said at the time.

Denouncing the removal of Press TV from the Eutelsat satellite as a shame, Norouzi said, “Iran is engaged in an all-out media war by enemies to expand the range of protests in the country and that Press TV has played a commendable role in countering these attacks.”

The Tehran-based English-language news network has repeatedly fallen victim to censorship on multiple fronts, including Twitter, Instagram, Google, and its services.

IRIB’s World Service in general, and Press TV in particular, has played a remarkable role as the counterweight to Western propagandist media for years, demolishing and debunking their lop-sided and unfair coverage of Iran and the region.

Press TV continues to challenge Western narratives and provide cutting-edge journalism based on truth and fairness.

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

Press TV News Roku