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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


Iran Jams Satellites to Block Transmissions by VOA, BBC

VOA News 30 December 2009

Broadcasters in the United States and Britain say the Iranian government has been jamming international satellite transmissions into the country.

Television programs by VOA's Persian News Network and a number of radio broadcasts by U.S.-supported news organizations have been affected by the Iranian jamming. The interference has been aimed at a communications satellite system used by many countries.

Iranian authorities have not responded to inquiries by the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the agency that oversees all U.S. government-supported civilian international broadcasting, including VOA.

However, engineers who regularly monitor satellite communications say Iran apparently is the source of the signal interference, which has blanketed a satellite system known as Hot Bird.

A BBG statement said its experts have determined that Iranian government jamming has been in effect at least since December 27. In addition to VOA's Persian network, the jamming has affected programs by Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty's Radio Farda and Radio Sawa, a U.S.-supported Arabic-language radio.

The BBG condemned the jamming and called it censorship aimed at interrupting the free flow of objective news and information to the Iranian people.

The BBC first reported last week that it had encountered jamming aimed at its Persian-language radio and television programs.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

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