Iran Blocking Al Jazeera

According to the pan-Arab satellite channel Arabsat the Islamic Republic is jamming the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera.

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Gabe Kahn.,

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In yet another sign of tensions in the Persian Gulf the Qatar-based news channel Al Jazeera is being jammed by Tehran

"Al Jazeera is affected... from two different locations in Iran," near Tehran and near the northwestern city of Maragheh, the satellite operator Arabsat said in a statement received on Tuesday.

Arabsat on Sunday announced a new frequency for Arabsat viewers due to "continued interference" from Tehran, adding it had isolated the source of the interference at Al Jazeera's request.

"Over the past few months, Al Jazeera has faced sustained interference to our satellite transmissions," it said in a statement.

"These occurrences will only strengthen our commitment to continue providing our award-winning coverage across the region 24 hours a day, seven days a week," said the broadcaster.

The influential and often controversial Al Jazeera has been criticized by many Arab governments for its positive coverage of the anti-regime uprisings which have swept the region since the start of 2011.

Iran and its Gulf Arab rivals for hegemony in the region have maintained an ongoing war of words since the Arab Spring erupted in early 2011.

The six Sunni Arab monarchies of the Gulf Cooperation Council have routinely accused Shiite Persian Iran of agitating rebellion against their governments via local Shiite communities.

Iran is not the only country to seek to block Al Jazeera in the past year.

Officials in Iran's regional ally Syria, have repeatedly slammed Al Jazeera's coverage of the deadly revolt in the country, which has largely remained sealed off from the foreign media.

Egypt's Nilesat satellite operator suspended carrying Al Jazeera on January 30, 2011 for its coverage of demonstrations before the ouster of president Hosni Mubarak.

Last February, Al Jazeera accused Libya's intelligence services of jamming its broadcasts in the country where a NATO-backed uprising ended the rule of late dictator Muammar Qaddafi.