BBC Monitoring is reporting that Iran’s Intelligence Ministry on August 3 closed a number of foreign-based satellite channels for their [alleged] involvement in “secret and illegal” activity.
The BBC report quotes the Ministry which states that the closed channels are based in the UK and the US, but they also operate out of local offices in the Iranian provinces of Qom, Esfahan, Tehran and Khorasan-e Razavi. Local employees are said to have been arrested.
A statement published by the Intelligence Ministry said the offices “operate clandestinely and illegally in four provinces, provoking sectarian strife, stoking discord in the Islamic world, and damaging the image of Shi’ism,” according to local news agency Fars. “Some of these satellite channels are based in the UK and the US. But they were supported by these offices and their staff in the provinces of Qom, Esfahan, Tehran and Khorasan-e Razavi to produce content that fuels discord in the Islamic world,” the statement continued.
The ministry’s statement added that the channels worked “in line with the objectives of foreign intelligence services”.
Fars did not provide the names of the closed channels. But a May report on the news agency, which called for the closure of “extremist Shi’i channels”, listed their names, including “Ahl al-Bayt”, “Imam Husayn”, “Salam”, “Abul-Fazl Al-Abbas”, “Baqi”, “Marja’iat” and “Al-Anwar 1 and 2″.
Further names of affected channels include: Khadijah TV, Al-Zahra, Ch4 Teen, Al-Mahdi,