IRIB head blasts Western sanctions as blatant instance of 'media dictatorship'

January 1, 2023 - 22:18

TEHRAN- The director of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) has criticized the sanctions imposed on the broadcaster by the West, asserting that they are a flagrant violation of the right to free expression and a clear example of "media dictatorship."

In an interview, Peyman Jebelli made the statement while commenting on the monopolistic and authoritarian tactics of anti-Iran media as well as the West's enforcement of stringent sanctions on the IRIB and its affiliates in response to recent foreign-backed riots in Iran.

Speaking to Fars News Agency, Jebelli underlined that “for years, we have witnessed obvious inconsistency between the claims and actions of those who claim to be champions of free speech, democracy and respect for society, one of the examples of which is the U.S. violation of human rights by sanctioning the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting.”

He went on to say, “When Western and international organizations act to boycott the IRIB, they demonstrate how easily restrict free speech, with which they have long blinded the eyes of the whole world, occur.”

Jebelli emphasized that the IRIB is Iran's national media and that it generates content and offers information in accordance with societal demands and helps the growth of the country.

“If there is supposed to be freedom of expression, Iran’s national media as a platform for expressing people's views and managing public opinion will do its job, and their media will also do their job, and both sides should have the freedom to do their job,” the IRIB head added. 

“How come the anti-Iran media act with impunity in the center of Europe and none of the media regulatory requirements are applied to them,” Jebelli continued. 

He also noted that “they are busy day and night whipping sedition off, inciting riots, instigating subversion, and weakening the security of Iran and other countries.”

But they believe that the IRIB, an ensuring transparency media outlet that is specific to the borders of the Islamic Republic of Iran, breaches the law, and they are unwilling to even permit their presence on satellites.

"This is one of the very evident examples of media tyranny that we have plainly encountered in recent events," the chairman of Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting highlighted.

The IRIB Chief Jebelli, Ahmad Norouzi, the IRIB Vice Director General Mohsen Barmahani, the Director of Press TV's Programs Department Yousef Pour-Anvari, and the IRIB Senior Correspondents Ali Rezvani and Ameneh Sadat Zabihpour were all the targets of sanctions imposed by the U.S. Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) in November.

OFAC alleged that amid recent unrest over the death of a young woman of Kurdish heritage in Tehran, the IRIB broadcast "hundreds of coerced confessions of Iranian, dual national, and foreign inmates in Iran."

Iran witnessed riots following the passing of Mahsa Amini on September 16. The 22-year-old lost consciousness inside a Tehran police station and was declared dead three days later in a hospital. 

Iranian Legal Medicine Organization's official assessment found that Amini's death was brought on by disease rather than claimed blows to the skull or other important body parts.

As Western countries, especially the United States, offered assistance, rioters went on the rampage, viciously assaulting security personnel and seriously damaging public property.

The U.S. restrictions came a week after the European Union sanctioned a number of Iranian organizations and persons for purported "human rights breaches" in the aftermath of the country's recent foreign-backed riots.

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