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.
The US government has not officially commented on the matter, but some reports said the websites might have been hacked.
Press TV has announced that its website will be available on .ir domain.
Over the past years, the United States has for several times taken similar measures against Iranian media outlets.
The US tech giant Google has recurrently taken on Press TV more than any other Iranian outlet given the expanse of its viewership and readership.
In March, Google for the seventh time blocked the English-language news network’s access to its official YouTube account without any prior notice, citing “violations of community guidelines.”
The US-based social media giant Facebook also informed Press TV in the same month that its account had been shut down for what it claimed to be the Iranian news channel’s failure to “follow our Community Standards.” The page was reinstated a few days later.
The Tehran-based English-language news network has repeatedly fallen victim to censorship on multiple fronts, including Twitter and Instagram besides Google and its services.
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