Iran jamming broadcasts by Qatar’s Al Jazeera

Document claims Persian state is jamming channels in protest at footage of Syria uprising
Iran jamming broadcasts by Qatar’s Al Jazeera
Al Jazeera has switched frequencies in a bid to stop efforts to jam its broadcasts
By Reuters
Tue 10 Jan 2012 08:57 PM

Iran
is jamming broadcasts
by Qatar-based news channel Al Jazeera, according to a
document from satellite operator Arabsat obtained by Reuters on Tuesday, with
the broadcaster saying it believed it was because of its coverage of Syria.

Interference
is coming from two locations in Iran, one west of Tehran and the other near the
northwestern city of Maraghen, the document showed.

"We
believe that this is happening because of our coverage of Syria," a senior
official at Al Jazeera told Reuters, declining to be identified.

The
official said they believed other channels in the region had also been jammed.

Neither
Arabsat nor Iranian officials were immediately available for comment.

Iran's
regional ally Syria has mostly barred foreign media from the country and has
criticised Al Jazeera's coverage of the upheaval there.

On
Saturday Al Jazeera announced a new frequency for Arabsat viewers due to
"continued interference".

"Over
the past few months, Al Jazeera has faced sustained interference to our
satellite transmissions," the channel said in a statement.

Al
Jazeera, owned by the Qatari government, aired round-the-clock coverage of
uprisings that brought down veteran rulers in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya last
year.

It
frequently has had difficulties with Western and Arab governments in a region
where governments have traditionally kept tight control over state media.

Syrian
President Bashar al-Assad vowed on Tuesday to strike "terrorists"
with an iron fist and derided the Arab League for its attempts to halt violence
in the 10-month-old revolt against his rule in a speech at Damascus University.

Syria,
Assad complained, was the target of a relentless foreign media campaign.
Blaming unrest on "outside planning", he said: "The outside now
regrettably includes Arabs."

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