US move to block websites attempt to muzzle free speech: Iran

TEHRAN, Jun. 23 (MNA) – Head of the Press Office of the Permanent Mission of Iran to the United Nations in New York called Washington's move to block Iranian websites an attempt to muzzle free speech.

Stating that the United States is trying to restrict freedom of expression by blocking Iranian and Resistance websites, Shahrokh Nazemi said that Iran will follow up on this issue through legal channels.

He added that the United States was trying to muzzle free speech. “While rejecting this illegal and bullying action, which is an attempt at limiting the freedom of expression, the issue will be pursued through legal channels."

In what seems to be a coordinated action, a similar message has appeared on the websites of a series of Iranian and regional television networks that claims their domains have been “seized by the United States Government.”

The notice, which appeared late Tuesday on the website of English-language television news network Press TV as well as a number of other Iranian and regional news channels, cited US sanctions laws for the seizure and was accompanied by the seal of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the US Department of Commerce.

"The domain presstv.com has been seized by the United States Government in accordance with a seizure warrant...as part of a law enforcement action by the Bureau of Industry and Security, Office of Export Enforcement and Federal Bureau of Investigation," the message read.

The websites of Iran's Arabic-language Al Alam television news network, Yemen’s al-Masirah TV channel and Bahrain's Lualua television network were also among the targeted outlets.

American officials also seized Fars’s website in 2018, when it was registered as a .com domain. The news agency switched to an Iranian domain of .ir and was back online soon afterward; a strategy that Press TV said on Tuesday that it would follow.

ZZ/FNA14000402000067/PR

News Code 175203

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