Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs says a recent decision by the administration of US President Donald Trump to block the domains of Iranian news outlets is in “stark infringement” of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and freedom of expression.
In a Twitter post on Sunday, the Iranian ministry “strongly” condemned the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) move as an effort to muzzle free speech.
?? strongly condemns @USTreasury decision to block access to domains of Iranian news outlets which is in stark infringement of the UDHR & #FreedomOfExpression. The regime's act as silencer to alternative ideas reduces America to the major violator of the rules-based Intl. order. pic.twitter.com/DuN0dEZUfA
— Iran Foreign Ministry ?? (@IRIMFA_EN) April 26, 2020
“The [US] regime’s act as silencer to alternative ideas reduces America to the major violator of the rules-based Intl. order,” it added.
The tweet came a day after managing director of the Iranian state-run newspaper “Iran” said the OFAC has, in an arbitrary move, blocked and seized the official domain name of the paper.
Mahdi Shafiei added that legal efforts are underway to unblock and take back the domain “iran-newspaper.com” and said the newspaper’s online version will be available via “irannewspaper.ir”.
The US government says “it has the right to seize any .com, .net and .org domain name because the companies that have the contracts to administer them are based on United States soil,” a US Homeland Security official said in 2012.
In January 2020, the website of Iran’s Fars News Agency was also blocked upon the US Treasury’s order.
The news agency said that it had received an email from the server company, which explicitly said that the blockage is due to an order by the OFAC and its inclusion in the list of Specially Designated Nationals (SDN).
Previously, Google, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter targeted Iranian accounts, including those belonging to broadcasters.
In December 2019, Google blocked access to Press TV and Hispan TV’s official YouTube accounts without any prior notice.
The move to silence Iranian voices began with the Obama regime, when all Iranian/Iranian affiliated TV channels were sanctioned & blocked from communications satellites. They were mostly in Persian & infinitely small in number compared to western media.
Trump is just more crude. https://t.co/XxpLsoYdr5
— Seyed Mohammad Marandi (@s_m_marandi) April 26, 2020