US Seizes Iranian Press TV, 33 Websites And  Iraqi Group Kataeb Hezbollah


US seizes Iranian Press TV, 33 websites and  Iraqi group Kataeb Hezbollah

The move has come in force as business of the US companies or non-American companies working closely with the US subsidiaries is illegal because of the sanctions  placed on Tehrean and all others companies with close to it.

WASHINGTON: (UrduPoint/Pakistan Point News-June 23rd, 2021) At least 33 Iranian government-controlled media websites and three of the Iraqi group Kataeb Hezbollah have been seized by the US Justice department.

These websites and Iraqi group Kataeb Hezbollah which were hosted on US-owned domains were seized over violation of sanctions.

Federal Bureau of Investigation and the US Commerce department released a statement in this regard.

Press tv and Al-Alam, Al Masirah TV channel of Yemen’s Huthis are among the media outlets which have been seized by the US.

Iranian Radio and Television Union (IRTVU) held 33 websites controlled by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force (IRGC).

According to the reports, both IRGC and IRTVU were blacklisted and sanction on them had made it illegal for the American, US companies, foreign and non-US companies with local subsidiaries to have business with them or their subsidiaries.

The reports had said that Kataeb Hezbollah which is Iraqi group that owned three sites has formally been designated as a terror group. The group has close ties to Tehran.

Palestine-Al Youm, a Palestian-directed broadcaster and an Arabic-languge religious and cultural channel are also among those seized.

According to AFP, Bahrain’s LuaLua TV—a channel that was controlled and run by the opposition group with office has also been frozen.

In reaction to the sanctions, IRIB criticized the US, saying that it has repressed freedom of expression. It says all those media outlets were sanctioned that exposed the crimes of US allies in the region. The Huthi called it “Ameircan piracy and copyright confiscation”.

They said: “the US has placed Al-Masirah website on sanction without any justification or even prior notice,”.

In quick response, Al-Masirah launched a new website by using its name and swapping the .net doman for .com.

US said: “IRTVU and others like it, disguised as news organizations or media outlets, targeted the United States with disinformation campaigns and malign influence operations,”.

In its statement, the US said: “Kataeb Hezbollah had role in rocket and other attacks on sites in Iraq where American soldiers and diplomats were living,”.

“The group has support from Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps,” it added.

However, identity of the US companies that hosted the sanctioned websites was not mentioned by the relevant authorities so far.

The latest move is the resul of those sanction that were put on Tehran due to its nuclear programme as the US wanted it to be frozen in exchange for lifting sanctions.

Fida Hussnain

Fida Hussnain is a lahore based journalist. He writes on politics, religion, social issues and climate change. He is also a research fellow at University of Gujrat.