The websites of the news channels Al Alam, Press TV, and the Al Masirah television channel of the Yemeni Houthi rebels showed messages indicating that they had "been confiscated by the United States government."
The U.S. Department of Justice said Wednesday it has "seized" 33 Tehran-controlled media sites and three Hezbollah brigade sites hosting US-owned domains in violation of sanctions. ۔
The department said in a statement that under court rulings, the state radio station had violated US sanctions by banning 33 websites used by the Islamic Radio and Television Union of Iran (IRTVU) and three websites run by Hezbollah. Captured
However, it did not reveal the identity of the US companies that own the domains that host these sites. It did not explain how they had proceeded despite the sanctions.
The IRTVU, sponsored by the Al Quds Force, is now, along with this elite unit of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, on the US sanctions blacklist, which prohibits the US and foreign individuals and companies from doing business with them affiliates.
The websites of the Arabic-language Al Alam and English-language news channels Press TV and the Yemeni Houthi rebels' Al Masirah television channel showed messages on Tuesday indicating that they had been "seized by the US government.
The message was accompanied by the emblems of the federal police FBI and the Department of Commerce.
The Islamic Republic of Iran Radio Television ( IRIB ), the parent company of Al Alam and Press TV, indicated that other sites, including a Palestinian-run broadcast and a cultural and religious channel in Arabic, had also been blocked.
The IRIB accused the United States of violating freedom of expression and of joining forces with Israel and Saudi Arabia in order to prevent resistance by exposing the crimes of US allies in the region.
Iran's permanent mission to the United Nations also rejected what it has called "an illegal and harassing action" before adding that "it is an attempt to limit freedom of expression," as reported by the Iranian news agency Mehr.
"The matter will be followed through legal channels," he added, without giving further details.
According to an AFP correspondent in the region, Bahrain's LuaLua TV, a channel of opposition groups with offices in London and Beirut, was also blocked.
In Yemen, the Houthis' political page site condemned "this American act of piracy and copyright confiscation. "
Al-Masirah quickly set up another website but changed its domain from .net to .com.
Meanwhile, LuaLua and Al Masirah continued to broadcast new programs, AFP journalists said.
Washington maintains strict sanctions against the Iranian regime due to its nuclear weapons program and its alleged support for terrorist groups.
Hundreds of Iranian organizations and individuals have been targeted by US sanctions. These punishments bar Americans from doing business with targeted companies.
The decision was made because Biden's government wanted to restore the 2015 agreement between Iran and the six major nuclear powers in exchange for lifting sanctions.
In 2018, then-President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from that agreement because the Iranians were not fulfilling their commitments.