US government blocks Iran-affiliated news websites

US government blocks Iran-affiliated news websites
# 23 June 2021 18:57 (UTC +04:00)

The US has taken down dozens of Iranian and Iran-linked news sites which it accuses of spreading disinformation, APA reports citing BBC.

The sites were replaced on Tuesday with notices saying they had been "seized" as part of a law enforcement action. They included Iran's state-run English-language channel, Press TV.

Several were back online within hours with new domain addresses.

Iran criticised the seizures and warned that they were "not constructive" for talks aimed at reviving a nuclear deal.

The US Department of Justice said in a statement that it had seized 33 websites used by the Iranian Islamic Radio and Television Union (IRTVU) and another three run by the Iran-backed Kataib Hezbollah militia in Iraq in violation of US sanctions.

The sites had been used by components of the Iranian government "disguised as news organizations or media outlets" to target the US "with disinformation campaigns and malign influence operations", it alleged.

The domains IRTVU was using were owned by a US company and it had not obtained a license from the US Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control prior to using them, it added.

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