Fars news goes offline ‘due to U.S. sanctions’

January 25, 2020 - 19:28

TEHRAN — The website of the Fars news agency has gone offline worldwide due to U.S. sanctions, the agency announced on Friday night.

In a post on its Twitter account, Fars said access to its .com domain had been blocked upon the U.S. Treasury’s order.

Internet users trying to access farsnews.com also found only a blank screen, along with a message stating “farsnews.com’s server IP address could not be found.”

The news agency said it had received an email from its server company, which “explicitly said that the blockage is due to an order by the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and its inclusion in the list of Specially Designated Nationals (SDN).”

However, Fars can still be accessed through its .ir domain.

Previously, Google, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter targeted Iranian accounts, including those belonging to broadcasters.

In December 2019, Google blocked access to Press TV and Hispan TV’s official YouTube accounts without any prior notice.

Ever since Donald Trump become the president of the United States in 2017, Washington has ramped up anti-Iran measures. Trump adopted a “maximum pressure” policy against Iran later on, after withdrawing from the historic 2015 Iran nuclear deal in May 2018.

The U.S. government has since targeted Iranian officials and organizations with vicious sanctions.

Back in April 2019, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) was blacklisted by the U.S. as a “foreign terrorist organization”. In retaliation, the Iranian Supreme National Security Council named the United States Central Command (CENTCOM) a terrorist organization.

In June 2019, Trump announced new sanctions against Iran, targeting office of Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and top commanders of the IRGC.

In July 2019, the U.S. Treasury Department said it was imposing sanctions on Zarif for acting on behalf of Ayatollah Khamenei.

MH/PA

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