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Middle East News | Iran Cuts off Communications with West

[Middle East News focuses on news from the regions around Cyprus and is being introduced as a result of the NCFP Poll. It’s an experiment.]

“International news broadcasters, including the BBC, Voice of America and Germany’s Deutsche Welle, have condemned what they say is the deliberate jamming [by Iran] of their television and radio news broadcasts to the Middle East.” 

The jamming of the news satellite is yet another attempt to cut Iranians off from contact with the West. This follows Internet censorship and the construction of an Iran Intranet as a replacement. It appears as if the Iranian government is terrified of alternative views to its own and hopes that by secretly banning them, the majority will accept the government’s own views as the one and only truth.

This censorship approach is common throughout the world, but in Iran it appears crude and obvious. We in the west believe that we are in a democracy where freedom of speech rules. Opinion is shaped by what we hear and read and is reinforce people around us agreeing with us. Even the simple example of the North Cyprus KibKom Forum, makes it clear that those who run the forum are determined to make sure it reflects their own views. This view is probably shared by the majority of forum’s members, and more importantly, its advertisers, so maintaining these views is essential for economic survival.

Off my current hobby horse and back to Iran. Revolution throughout the Middle East means that countries like Iran, targeted by the West, need to control popular opinion in order to control the population. To be fair, how are we to be certain that western versions of the news concerning Iran are not manufactured in order to destabilise the country and reduce the possibility of an Israeli attack. Without being sure that western news channels aren’t being manipulated we’ll never get to know the truth.

For example, maybe you’ve believed what I said above about Iran manipulating news in order to control the population but there is another side to the story. Iran’s infrastructure has been attacked recently, by computer viruses specifically targeting utilities such as power plants. Perhaps they are just protecting themselves by cutting off contacts to the outside. Maybe it isn’t the message the internet is carrying that worries them, but instead it’s the potential for viral infection.

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