Monday, February 06, 2006

Iran demands halt to broadcasts from West; Dubai complies

World Tribune:
Iran has forced the United Arab Emirates of Dubai to halt live Persian-language television broadcasts.

Western diplomatic sources said the broadcasts contained Western programming and discussed democracy. They said President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his advisers regarded these broadcasts as part of a U.S.-led effort to foment unrest in Iran.

"There were harsh messages sent to Dubai by the Iranian president personally," a diplomatic source said. "In the end, neither Dubai nor the central UAE government sought a confrontation."

The broadcasts were meant to be beamed in Iraq in a project financed by Holland.

Iran also pressured Holland to end support for the Persian-language broadcasts. The sources said Teheran awarded several major projects to the Netherlands in wake of its decision to withdraw support for the broadcasts.

The United States has not supported the financing of opposition broadcasts to Iran. But Sen. Rick Santorum, a leading Republican, has introduced the Iran Freedom and Support Act, which has garnered support of nearly 50 members.

Santorum's bill would increase support for a free media in Iran. This would include the beaming of anti-regime broadcasts from both within and outside of the United States.
Bloggers, write or call your Senators and ask them to support the bill and hold hearings on it now.