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BBG Condemns Jamming of Broadcasts to Iran

WASHINGTON “The jamming of news delivered by satellite into Iran is an outrage, a deplorable violation of well-established international agreements. Freedom of information is a universal human right as well as an essential component for the health of any nation.” That’s Richard Lobo, director of the International Broadcasting Bureau of the Broadcast Board of Governors.

The practice of deliberate interference with broadcast signals, or “jamming,” is prohibited under the rules of the International Telecommunications Union. This recent interference by Iran began on Oct. 3, and affected both video and audio signals of the Voice of America’s Persian Service and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s Radio Farda, according to the BBG.

The jamming coincided with reports of street demonstrations and mass arrests of Iranians protesting falling currency exchange rates. Both the Voice of America and RFE/RL have reported that, in some instances, interference starts just before newscasts and ends just afterwards.

The jamming affected three satellite transponders operated by Eutelsat and those most popular among Iranian viewers: HotBird 13B, Eutelsat 25A and Eutelsat 7A. Viewers said the signals reappear intermittently, and that less-popular satellites are not impacted.

The interference has affected other U.S. international broadcasting programs on the Eutelsat satellites, including Georgian, Armenian and Balkan-language broadcasts. Eutelsat has issued its own condemnation of the jamming and called on international regulatory authorities to stop it. The BBG made a similar call for action against jamming in January this year. ~ Radio World