Wed, 04 Aug 2021

Iranian State News Sites Seized by US

Voice of America
23 Jun 2021, 09:05 GMT+10

Several Iranian websites displayed messages Tuesday stating they had been "seized by the United States government."

Iranian media confirmed Tuesday that several state-linked news websites appeared "seized" by the U.S. government without any clear reason or explanation.

An FBI official confirmed the seizures to VOA but declined to provide further details. A Justice Department announcement later Tuesday or early Wednesday will provide more detail about the takedowns, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Among the sites abruptly taken offline were state television's English-language Press TV, its Arabic channel Al-Alam, and Yemeni Houthi rebels' Al-Masirah satellite news channel.

The message on the websites said the seizures had been "in accordance with a seizure warrant," and it appeared with the seals of the FBI and the Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security.

Al-Masirah released a statement acknowledging its seizure, saying it would continue its mission of "confronting the American and Israeli acts of piracy against our nation, by any means."

The news channel quickly began operating a website under a new domain name, Reuters reported. Press TV also tweeted out a new domain name for its website Tuesday.

Press TV reports international news that is filtered through the lens of Iran's leaders. It commonly criticizes the foreign policy of the United States and Britain.

The move comes days after Iran elected Ebrahim Raisi, a prominent critic of the West, as its new president.

In October, the U.S. seized 92 domain names it said were "unlawfully used by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps" to spread misinformation.

Masood Farivar contributed to this report.

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