International channels hit by Iranian jamming

The BBC, Deutsche Welle and the Voice of America have condemned a new wave of jamming coinciding with the 31st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution.

BBC Persian Television, the Voice of America Television Channel in Persian and Radio Farda; and Deutsche Welle’s television and radio services believe their transmissions from the Eutelsat Hot Bird (13 degrees East) have been blocked by the Iranian authorities. The footprint from the satellite neighbourhood covers Europe, also stretching into the Middle East, including Iran. German international broadcaster Deutsche Welle also uses the Hot Bird 8 satellite to feed a separate signal on Nilesat, which was also impacted.

In a letter to the Iranian Embassy in Germany, Deutsche Welle director-general Erik Bettermann objected to the “direct interference of the reception of international information offerings”. He added that the repeated limitation of freedom of opinion and freedom of speech by the Iranian administration is “no longer acceptable”.

The jamming, which began on Wednesday afternoon (February 10), is the second time in recent months that the broadcasters have been subject to jamming. A period of satellite interference in December is also believed to have its origin in Iran.

BBC Persian TV was similarly affected in June 2009.