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Tehran blasts US attempt to undermine free speech after Washington’s takeover of Iranian news websites

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The Iranian Foreign Ministry has vowed to enact a “double defeat” on Washington after the US authorities seized a number of websites belonging to news agencies from or associated with Tehran.

Speaking on Wednesday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said Tehran deplores the US’ efforts to undermine free speech and silence the voice of Iran’s independent media. 

“Rejecting this illegal and bullying action, the Islamic Republic of Iran will pursue the issue through legal channels,” he stressed, slamming the shameful double standards employed by Washington.

He stated that the Biden administration was following the same path as former US President Donald Trump, who had exacted crippling sanctions on Tehran. Khatibzadeh vowed that Washington’s moves against Iran would only lead to a “double defeat.” 

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US government ‘SEIZES’ website of Iran’s Press TV, multiple other media outlets

The spokesman’s comments come after Washington seized a number of web domains belonging to Iranian and Iran-associated media. The media outlets seized by the US government included outlets Press TV and Al-Alam, along with the Yemeni TV channel Al Masirah, run by the Houthi faction, and an Iraqi Shia satellite channel.

“Components of the government of Iran – disguised as news organizations or media outlets targeted the United States with disinformation campaigns and malign influence operations,” the US Justice Department said in a statement. 

The move took place as negotiators in Vienna attempt to bring the US and Iran back in line with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) which sought to put restrictions on Iranian nuclear ambitions. The 2015 pact was unilaterally abandoned by the Trump administration in 2018 which enacted tough sanctions on Iran.

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