Satellite operator Intelsat says it is not required to drop Iran’s international TV channels from its satellite services, as did France-based satellite operator Eutelsat earlier this week.
A report carried by BBC Monitoring regarding Luxembourg-based Intelsat’s position in relation to increased EU sanctions on Iran, Intelsat’s director of corporate communications, Alex Horwitz, said Intelsat’s situation vis a vis Iranian broadcasts was different to that of Eutelsat.
“Intelsat adheres strictly to the US sanctions requirements with respect to the services it provides in Iran,” Horwitz said in a statement.
“Intelsat Corporation (a wholly-owned subsidiary) holds an OFAC license to provide satellite capacity and managed services to certain named customers in Iran. Our historical obligations to serve Iran are related to our former status as an intergovernmental organization,” Horwitz said.
OFAC refers to the Office of Foreign Assets Control, an agency of the US Treasury Department. OFAC administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions based on US foreign policy and national security goals. It also has the authority to grant exemptions to prohibited transactions.
Eutelsat’s decision on 15 October affected 19 channels provided by Iran’s state broadcasting network IRIB. A number of Iranian channels dropped from Eutelsat’s Hot Bird satellites can now be seen on the Intelsat 20 satellite broadcasting to Europe at 68.5 degrees East. They include Press TV in English, Jam-e-Jam 1 and 2 (general programming in Farsi), Sahar 1 and 2, multilingual Quran TV, and the Arabic-language Al-Kawthar.