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article imageOp-Ed: Iranian TV removed from North American airwaves

By Ken Hanly     Feb 10, 2013 in Politics
Tehran - Press TV reports that it has been taken off the air in North America. It has been dropped from the Galaxy 19 satellite platform that allowed broadcasts both in Canada and the US.
Press TV is a prominent Iranian station intended to broadcast world news that reflects an Iranian government standpoint. While it is no doubt a propaganda outlet for the Iranian government, it nevertheless provides an alternative view of the news and often covers incidents that much of the western press ignores. Press TV produces many You Tube videos, often providing video that is simply not available anywhere else. Press TV has its own website since 2007 where there is coverage of the latest news.
Many have criticized Press TV for its often virulent criticism of Israel and for providing a platform for anti-Semitic figures. However some, such as George Galloway, have come to its defense claiming that the station "challenges the prevailing orthodoxy" and provides what he calls an outsider perspective on the truth. Press TV was expressly created to present, news, views and arguments, particularly on Middle East Affairs that would counter the views expressed on the BBC, CNN, and Al Jazeera. The annual budget of Press TV is about $25 million US.
Press TV calls the move "another flagrant violation of freedom of speech". Western commentators will no doubt just describe it as a move required by recent sanctions against Iran. However, the effect is the same.
Intelsat, the Luxembourg-based company that owns Galaxy 19, has made no comment on the decision. No doubt Press TV should still be available on the Internet. Recent US Treasury Department sanctions blacklist the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting and its director.
Last October Eutelsat, a leading European satellite provider, also cut out Iranian state television and radio broadcasts to comply with European Union sanctions on Iran. The effect of sanctions is to censor the news from Iran. No doubt this is regarded by many as a collateral good. As can be seen by the appended video, Reporters Without Borders so far has refused to take a position on Press TV's being taken off the air in various countries. Will the entire Internet soon become off limits to Press TV?
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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