Iran and Syria have been deliberately interfering with broadcasts by European satellite stations, a group of European Union broadcasters said Monday. The Geneva-based European Broadcasting Union (EBU) alliance said that Syria and Iran were both specifically targeting news broadcasters, including the BBC, France 24, Deutsche Welle and the Voice of America.
The group said that it had evidence supplied European satellite operator Eutelsat, which said that it had established that there was “deliberate” interference being generated by Iran and Syria.
Commenting on the jamming, EBU Director General Ingrid Deltenre said that the group “deplored” the jamming. “Access to information is a universal human right and an essential component for democracy.” Jamming of broadcasts is a violation of the rules set by the International Telecommunication Union, a UN body that regulates satellite broadcasts, Deltenre said. Both Iran and Syria are members of the organization.
Officials of the organization said that the decision by Iran and Syria to jam Western broadcasts was likely related to a decision by the Eutelsat to stop carrying 19 Iranian television and radio channels. The stations were dropped because of new European sanctions on Iran. Ali Ghassem, an official in Syria's satellite broadcasting organization, called the Eutelsat move “media terrorism” designed “to divert the attentions from the real enemy, which is the Zionist regime. The west does not want the voice of Islam to reach Europe, the US or even the Arab countries,” he said.