‘Iran media ban violates free speech’

A political analyst says the move to take Iranian media channels off the air calls into question the West’s claim of defending freedom of speech, Press TV reports.

“It is really attacking the very fundamental principles which the Europeans claim to spread, which is freedom of speech and freedom of expression,” Intifad Qanbar said in an interview with Press TV on Wednesday.

“Who can decide what is good and what is bad? Why don’t they go and stop many of the hatred-promoting channels… which are spreading… hatred and war and terrorism across the air all over the world?” the analyst asked.

Qanbar criticized the move to take Iranian media off the air as “true hypocrisy” carried out on a “double standard basis.”

“You cannot just hush people whom you don’t like and claim to be democratic and claim to accept and respect freedom of speech as they continue to say,” he pointed out, saying it carried a contradictory message.

In a flagrant violation of freedom of speech, the Spanish government ordered Madrid’s regional government to stop broadcast of Iran’s Spanish-language Hispan TV as of Monday.

This is not the first time that the Iranian media are being targeted.

In October 2012, Eutelsat SA and Intelsat SA stopped the broadcast of several Iranian satellite channels.

In November 2012, the Hong Kong-based Asia Satellite Telecommunications Co. Ltd. (AsiaSat) also took all Iranian channels off the air in East Asia under pressure from the United States.

AR/HJL/MA