Eutelsat takes Press TV off air
December 7, 2022
By Colin Mann
French satellite operator Eutelsat has taken Press TV off air following the European Union’s imposition of sanctions on Iran’s English-language news network, according to a Breaking News report on the service’s website.
On November 14th, the European Union imposed sanctions on a number of Iranian institutions and individuals, including Press TV, over alleged rights violations following the recent riots in the country.
“Eutelsat has assessed the consequences of the adoption by the European Union on November 14, 2022, of additional sanctions against the perpetrators of serious human rights violations in Iran,” the French company told AFP.
“Eutelsat has contacted its counterparties broadcasting Press TV, in order to enforce the cessation of broadcasting as soon as possible,” it added.
Press TV was forced off the air in the UK after media regulator Ofcom revoked its licence for what it described as a serious breach of the Broadcasting Code.
In a statement, Press TV strongly denounced what it described as the double standards of the European Union with regard to freedom of expression, saying Eutelsat’s action was part of Western “media terrorism” against Iran.
The “hostile” move by Eutelsat and [the earlier sanctions imposed by] the European Union, said the statement is “just one of the rings in the chain of measures that has been designed to muzzle the only voice of Iranian people in the English-language media environment.”
Since the inception of Press TV in 2007, it has “experienced various instances of being dropped from cable or satellite platforms by European regulatory institutions and service-providing companies,” the statement added.
It further said the blocking of Press TV accounts on Twitter and Facebook as well as Instagram to YouTube, the seizure of the Press TV website’s “.com” domain by the US Department of the Treasury, and sanctions on employees and managers of the network by the US and EU are part of the media terrorism project.
“Even our anchor, documentary producer, and senior journalist Marzieh Hashemi was arrested in the US in line with this premeditated and organized plan” and she was subjected to inhumane treatment in violation of human rights by those claiming to be advocating human rights, the statement noted.
“We are well aware now that Europe’s and the US’s conflict with Press TV has reached its peak and that the network’s raising of awareness about the reality of Iranian society is not something that European countries can tolerate.
“This is the same Europe that is generously hosting numerous networks that oppose the Islamic Republic of Iran and is silent about the wave of disseminating hate speech, sowing division, publishing fake news, and theorizing violence and brutal killings by rioters in Iran.
“Europe is turning a blind eye to such outlets’ encouragement of rioters to engage in acts of sabotage and chaos in Iranian streets aimed at undermining the security of Iranian citizens, and also to the provocation of separatist groups and the clever support for foreign terrorists; naming all these freedom of expression.”
It further said the adoption of “double standards in dealing with freedom of expression and especially human rights issues by the European Union, which carries a history of colonialism and human rights crimes in African and Asian countries, has become a norm.
“This is especially true today as important members of the EU are engaged in massive protests and strikes. It was not unexpected that the EU, rather than dealing with multiple problems and human rights violations of its member states, would make false accusations against an Iranian network and force a company like Eutelsat to remove Press TV from the satellite broadcasting system,” the Press TV statement said.
“The European Union knows that Press TV is showing the true image of Europe to itself and the world, and also is confronting the denigration of real Iran.”
Press TV condemned the measure that violates freedom of expression and is completely political and based on baseless accusations.
“We tell the European Union that we, at Press TV, will remain the voice of the voiceless and steadfast on the path of manifesting the true face of the Iranian nation that has no similarity to foreign-backed rioters and that we will turn this into a new opportunity for our activities.”
On April 3rd, 2012, Munich-based media regulator BLM announced it was removing Press TV from the SES Astra satellite, as it purportedly did not have a licence to broadcast in Europe.
In November 2012, the Hong Kong-based AsiaSat took Iranian channels off air in East Asia, and in October 2012 Eutelsat and Intelsat stopped broadcasting several Iranian satellite channels, though the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting managed to resume broadcasts after striking deals with smaller companies that are based in other countries.
In July 2013, Press TV was forced off the air in the UK after the media regulator Ofcom revoked its license for allegedly breaching the Communications Act.
In the same year, it was taken off air in North America after the US Treasury Department announced sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB).
Press TV was dropped from the Galaxy 19 satellite platform that allowed it to broadcast in the United States and Canada, without saying when it was dropped.