January 10, 2013 (TSR) – International satellite company STN has denounced as “illegal” HispaSat’s decision to take Iranian news channels Press TV and Hispan TV off the air, saying it would sue the Spanish satellite provider.

Satellite Telecommunications Network (STN) said in a statement on Monday that the ban on Iranian channels must stop immediately.

The decision by the Slovenia-based satellite company follows HispaSat’s blocking of STN transponder used to broadcast the two Iranian channels.

“We have evaluated the legal basis for your request and find no legal ground to terminate the retransmission of the two channels whatsoever,” STN wrote in a letter to HispaSat.

It said it had considered the requests dated April 12, 2011 and March 23, 2012 based on the European Union (EU) regulations regarding “restrictive measures directed against certain persons, entities and bodies in view of the situation on Iran.”

Meanwhile, contacted by Press TV earlier, Michael Mann, chief spokesperson of EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, said:

“The EU’s restrictive measures against Iran, which focus on finance, energy, trade and transport, do not contain elements which could have forced as such Eutelsat to take this step. EU sanctions do not require these TV channels to be taken off the air.”

On December 21, 2012, HispaSat took Iran’s Press TV and Hispan TV off the air, and ordered Overon, a subsidiary satellite company, to stop the transmission of the two international TV channels.

Overon said the ban on Press TV and Hispan TV followed a similar move by France’s Eutelsat Company, which had already taken several Iranian satellite channels and radio stations off the air. It said the channels were removed because of “a wider interpretation of EU regulations.”

As recently as Saturday, Iran’s Arabic-language news channel, al-Alam, was jammed on the Nilesat.

This is not the first time the signals of Iranian channels have been interrupted.

In November last year, the Hong Kong-based Asia Satellite Telecommunications Co. Ltd. (AsiaSat) also took Iranian channels off the air in East Asia.

In October, Eutelsat SA and Intelsat SA stopped the broadcast of several Iranian satellite channels, citing pressure by the European Union.

The EU has, however, denied the claims by the European satellite companies.

Source: Press TV


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