US seizes a number of Iranian news websites

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By Isabel Debre | Associated Press

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — American authorities took down a scope of Iran’s state-linked quality websites nether unclear circumstances connected Tuesday, the U.S. and Iran said, a determination that appeared to beryllium a far-reaching crackdown connected Iranian media amid heightened tensions betwixt the 2 countries.

The U.S. seized astir 3 twelve websites, the bulk of which are linked to Iranian disinformation efforts, said a U.S. authoritative who spoke connected information of anonymity due to the fact that the lawsuit had not yet been officially announced by the American government.

Iranian state-run quality bureau IRNA announced the U.S. authorities seizures of the websites, without providing further information.

The takedowns travel arsenic satellite powers scramble to resurrect Tehran’s tattered 2015 atomic woody and conscionable days aft the predetermination triumph of Iran’s hard-line judiciary chief, Ebrahim Raisi. On Monday, Raisi, known for his hostility to the West, staked retired a hard-line presumption successful his archetypal quality conference. He ruled retired the possibilities of gathering with President Joe Biden oregon negotiating implicit Tehran’s ballistic rocket programme and enactment for determination militias — concerns the Biden medication wants addressed successful aboriginal talks.

Iran provides enactment to militant groups successful the region, specified arsenic Lebanon’s militant Hezbollah and Yemen’s Houthi rebels, arsenic it seeks to wield its power acold afield and antagonistic its foes.

On Tuesday, visiting the addresses of a fistful of sites, including Iran authorities television’s English-language limb Press TV, Yemeni Houthi-run Al-Masirah outer quality transmission and Iranian authorities TV’s Arabic-language channel, Al-Alam, produced a national notice. It said the websites were seized “as portion of instrumentality enforcement action” by the U.S. Bureau of Industry and Security, Office of Export Enforcement and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The U.S. authorities besides took implicit the domain sanction of the quality website Palestine Today, which reflects the presumption points of Gaza-based Islamic militant groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad, redirecting the tract to the aforesaid takedown notice.

Yemen’s Houthi rebel radical announced that its Al-Masirah outer quality transmission went offline without anterior notice. It said the transmission would proceed successful its ngo of “confronting the American and Israeli acts of piracy against our nation, by immoderate means.”

Press TV, launched successful June 2007, is the state-run Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting’s English-language service. There are nary backstage tv oregon vigor stations successful Iran. Satellite dishes, portion widespread, besides are illegal. That leaves IRIB with a monopoly connected home airwaves.

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Marzieh Hashemi, a salient Press TV anchorwoman who, successful 2019, was arrested arsenic worldly witnesser successful an unspecified transgression lawsuit and has appeared earlier a expansive assemblage successful Washington, told The Associated Press that the transmission was struggling to “figure retired the reasons” for the seizure.

While airing successful Iran, Press TV focuses predominantly connected planetary affairs done the lens of however leaders successful the Islamic Republic spot the world. Fierce disapproval of British and American overseas argumentation is common. Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, IRIB has been successful the hands of hard-liners who backmost Iran’s government.

Associated Press writers Eric Tucker successful Washington and Maggie Hyde successful Cairo contributed to this report.