The Iranian government is being accused of jamming U.S.-supported satellite TV channels, blaming them for inciting the wave of student-led protests that have brought bloody clashes to Tehran's streets, Sunday Telegraph reported.
Many of those who took to the streets learned of the protests from Persian-language satellite channels run by exile groups. They include National Iranian Television, which is run by Reza Pahlavi, the son of the last shah. The satellite broadcasts, which mix popular and political programs, are one of the few diversions openly available to Iranian youth, the report said.
Last week, viewers complained that it had become almost impossible to watch their favorite programs. "The television screen is all waves and noisy interference," one viewer was quoted as saying
Government ministers, however, denied any knowledge of an attempt to jam the satellite signals.
Iran on Saturday came heavily on US for praising recent riots in Tehran and said American officials' statements constituted a "flagrant example of interference in Iran's
Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said "selective dealing has become a typical feature of the American policy. They (US leaders) regard massive demonstrations in western countries and America itself as the result of democracy but they cite limited demonstrations in Tehran as being for democracy," he said.
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )