Iran Confiscates Satellite Dishes

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Iran Confiscates Satellite Dishes

The Associated Press, Sat 27 Oct 2001

Middle East Middle East Daily M.East Business Mideast Energy Afghanistan Algeria Daily Arabia FM Arab World News Arabian Offshore Bahrain Post Beirut Bethlehem Cyprus Dubai Egypt Eritrea Ethiopia Gaza - Iran - Tehran - Tehran FM Iraq Israel Jerusalem Jordan Kurdistan Kuwait Libya Mid East Business Mid East Headlines Lebanon Oman Palestine Palestine FM Persian Gulf Qatar Saudi Arabia Sudan Syria Yemen TEHRAN, Iran (AP) Iranian police have confiscated more than 1,000 satellite dishes in two days as part of an apparent crackdown to bar access to several U.S.-based channels run by Iranian opposition groups.

An unidentified Tehran police source said the dishes had been confiscated Thursday and Friday, the state-owned daily Iran reported on Saturday. Some 150,000 illegal dishes were expected to be confiscated.

In 1995, the then hard-line parliament banned satellite dishes in an effort to purge Iran of Western influences, but the ban wasn't strictly enforced and rooftops and balconies were soon littered with dishes.

Security officials refused to say why the latest crackdown was launched, but the Farsi-language Iran newspaper said the crackdown was directed at recent street violence in Iran. The violence has apparently been flamed by footage of soccer fans shown throwing stones at shop windows and banks after recent matches involving Iran. Such images have been beamed into Iran from several U.S.-based channels run by Iranian dissidents.

The Farsi-language television programs also feature popular Iranian music singers frowned on by local authorities.

``I don't think this measure is a proper way of confronting the dishes. I think its consequences will be more negative than positive,'' reformist lawmaker Sohrab Bohluli Qashqaie told The Associated Press.

Residents hide their dishes with tarpaulins, or try to disguise them to resemble air conditioning units or water coolers. Hearing of the latest crackdown, some owners have been bringing their dishes inside.

The reformist daily newspaper Nowruz, close to the Islamic Iran Participation Front, called the crackdown an ``act which has been proved fruitless time and again.'' The front is the largest pro-reform party in Iran

http://www.tehran-news.com/?action=display&article=10145445&template=iran/index.txt&index=recent

-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), October 27, 2001

Answers

Security officials refused to say why the latest crackdown was launched, but the Farsi-language Iran newspaper said the crackdown was directed at recent street violence in Iran. The violence has apparently been flamed by footage of soccer fans shown throwing stones at shop windows and banks after recent matches involving Iran. Such images have been beamed into Iran from several U.S.-based channels run by Iranian dissidents.

From an article about PRO Western riots, posted earlier as to why the dishes poise a threat.

"Opposition satellite TV channels beamed from Los Angeles have stoked a growing nostalgia for the monarchy. In a belated effort to muzzle the royalists, the Islamic vigilantes have swooped on the rooftops of northern Tehran confiscating hundreds of satellite dishes."

JB

-- Jackson Brown (Jackson_Brown@deja.com), October 27, 2001.


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