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Silence is Golden

By Bill Samii
RFE/RL Iran Report
Vol. 3, No. 7,
February14, 2000

Elections bring out media commentators and a variety of analysts, but the government of Iran has decided that its 18 February parliamentary election will go more smoothly without such unseemly democratic trappings. Since late-January, Tehran has been interfering with the Persian-language shortwave broadcasts of foreign radio services in two ways. The most common sort of jamming is the broadcast of bubble- type interference which is often used in the Middle East to interrupt shortwave transmissions. The other method being used is to override the foreign broadcasts with the Arabic Service of the Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran. These Iranian government activities have been directed at broadcasts by RFE/RL's Persian Service, the BBC, and the VOA. Iran's jamming activities violate international law. They also underline the regime's desperation and insecurity.

Reporters Without Borders calls for Iran to stop jamming broadcasts

NICOSIA, February 16, 2000 (AFP) - The press freedom group Reporters Without Borders protested Wednesday against Iran's jamming of Western radio stations' Persian-language programs ahead of Iranian legislative elections.

The group said in a news release sent to AFP in Nicosia that it had sent a letter to Iranian President Mohammad Khatami which "protests against the jamming of Farsi programs carried by Voice of America, Radio Free Europe and BBC."

Reporters Without Borders said the Iranian authorities "have been jamming these stations' Farsi programs, which have become inaudible, since the beginning of February.

"These measures were taken ahead of the February 18 legislative elections." The group said it asked Khatami "to do everything he can to stop the jamming."