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Hezbollah slams Eutelsat for blocking Iranian channels
The Mahdi scouts carry Hezbollah flags as they parade in the southern border village of Kfar Kila to mark Jerusalem Day, Thursday, Aug. 16, 2012. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari)
The Mahdi scouts carry Hezbollah flags as they parade in the southern border village of Kfar Kila to mark Jerusalem Day, Thursday, Aug. 16, 2012. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari)
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BEIRUT: Hezbollah slammed Thursday European satellite provider Eutelsat over its recent decision to take off air a number of Iranian television and radio broadcasters and mocked the EU over the affair.

“These arbitrary decisions will not hide the truth and will not prevent the targeted channels from finding avenue to remain active and voice the truth ... despite all actions taken by the West and their Arab followers,” a statement from the Lebanese group’s media office said.

On Monday, Eutelsat banned the broadcast of 19 Iranian television channels and radio stations as a result of sanctions by the European Union, which hopes to pressure Iran back to negotiations over its suspicious nuclear program.

Vanessa O'Connor, a spokeswoman, told Agence France Presse that the channels operated by Iranian state broadcaster Irib have been blocked for viewers in Europe and elsewhere as of Monday morning.

Iran’s Press TV, which is among the 19 channels, says Irib could seek legal action against Eutelsat.

In its statement Thursday, Hezbollah also mocked the decision and reasons behind terminating the broadcasts.

“What is revealing is that the European firm claims that its decision came as a result of pressure from the European Union, which only a few days ago received a Nobel peace prize, and here it is now working to deprive all rights to freedom of expression through legal means,” the statement said.

“The decision to take off air [the channels] ... is an assault on freedoms, which the West so often praises, and is a violation to all laws regulating this international media sector. The decision lacks any logic that can be accepted or justified,” the group said.

Hezbollah’s media office voiced total solidarity with the targeted channels and urged Eutelsat to rescind its “arbitrary” decision. - With AFP

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