Press TV hits back at U.S. for seizing domain 

June 25, 2021 - 19:36

TEHRAN – Iran’s English-language news network Press TV has responded to the U.S move in seizing its website, describing the move as an indication that Washington has lost its “narrative-based dominance.”

In a statement late on Thursday, the Iranian broadcaster’s editorial board said, “The United States’ hostile measure against pro-resistance media outlets indicates that not only this country has been defeated by the resistance movement on the ground in the region, but it has also lost its narrative-based dominance and has no choice but to silence dissenting voices.”

In a coordinated campaign of seizure, the United States has blocked the domain of several Iranian official news websites as well as regional media outlets close to Iran. The move drew criticism from free speech defenders who called the U.S. move a muzzling of freedom of expression.

Late on Tuesday, the websites of a number of Iranian news media outlets, most notably the English-language Press TV and the Arabic-language Al Alam, as well as regional media outlets close to Iran, were blocked with a message showing that the websites were seized by the government of the United States.

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

The U.S. Justice Department issued a statement confirming the seizure. It alleged that the targeted websites were used by the Iranian Islamic Radio and Television Union and Kata’ib Hizballah of Iraq.

“Today, pursuant to court orders, the United States seized 33 websites used by the Iranian Islamic Radio and Television Union (IRTVU) and three websites operated by Kata’ib Hizballah (KH), in violation of U.S. sanctions,” the American statement said.

Press TV’s statement noted that the U.S. loss of control over “the narrative of reality” forced it into taking risky measures against the Iranian media in order to solve its immediate problems.
“The United States and the Western bloc, which once imposed an all-out siege on the public opinion not allowing opposing views to be heard, are now unable to control the narrative of the reality despite taking advantage of multiple media outlets. Therefore, they see no other resort, but to make risky decisions. Perhaps such risky decisions can solve some immediate problems faced by the United States, but they only make the most important problems that are facing this country’s hostile foreign policy more critical,” the statement said, adding, “The unveiled countenance of the United States was revealed when it committed the crime of assassinating Martyr Soleimani in the vain hope of putting an end to its military fiascos in the region. However, we all witnessed how the resistance emerged more powerful than before and inflict historical defeats on the aggressors.”

The statement also touched on the normalization deals some Arab states inked with Israel last year, saying these “sinister” deals were aimed to make relations between Israel and Muslim countries official. 

“The sinister Abraham Accords were designed to make the normalization of relations between Islamic countries and the Zionist regime official, but the recent ‘Operation al-Quds Sword’ and the uproar of resistance forces not only turned the ‘deal of the century’ into a dead deal, but also united Palestinian groups and their supporters more than ever in their support for the liberation of the Holy al-Quds, so that ‘From the River to the Sea’ would once again become the main issue of Palestine and efforts made to reach a compromise with Israel slip into oblivion,” Press TV said. 

It added, “The worldwide support for the people of Palestine in American cities and many other Western countries clearly proves that such coercive measures and blocking of websites would be of no avail. The conscientious people around the world will never give in to such bullying and if the U.S. government continues on this path, it will have to muzzle the entire people of the world in order not to hear such dissenting voices.”

Press TV called the U.S.'s move a “perilous measure,” underlining that the seizure will not serve the U.S. interests. “Blocking of resistance media outlets is another perilous measure that the regime in Washington erroneously thinks will meet its interests. This measure is another mistake that they have committed without noticing how grave the consequences of this decision would be for them. By taking this measure, the U.S. government has not only reduced to zero the security of investment by state-run and private entities in the worldwide web, but has made its weakness more visible. Therefore, from now on, it must await more powerful and more vociferous media activity,” it said. 

The Iranian broadcaster’s statement also shed light on the U.S. disregard for its own claims in terms of advocating freedom of expression. “The free-thinking people of the world are witnessing that despite its claims to advocating freedom of expression and the free flow of information, the American regime, in total disregard for international regulations and expectations, does not shy away from any measure whenever it makes a rash decision; whether it is tearing up the nuclear deal with Iran or blocking of online domains of opposing media outlets. Such actions by the American regime are a blatant example of the rule of a rogue state that is exhausting the international community’s patience,” the statement noted, adding, “On the other hand, the encouraging support for the pro-resistance media outlets, especially Press TV, during the past few days clearly proves that a major portion of the world is no more ready to put up with the U.S. government’s behavior.”

Press TV vowed to continue its media activities in full force despite American restrictive measures. It also said that it will respond to the U.S. move by intensifying its work.

“Pursuant to this U.S. measure, Press TV network will be further motivated to strengthen its rightful media activities and will respond to this step taken by the U.S. government through intensifying its media work and diversifying its media tactics so as to convey its message to the highest number of people around the globe. From now on, our audience can follow Press TV via our Iranian domain, i.e.,” the statement concluded. 

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