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Iran Targets Satellite TV Owners

July 03, 2003
Middle East Online

TEHRAN - Iranian security forces have carried out a series of raids targetting private owners of banned satellite dishes in areas of Tehran that were the scene of recent anti-regime protests, witnesses and reports said Thursday.

The official Iran newspaper said that for several days there has been "a new wave of dish seizures, particularly in districts that were the theatre of recent troubles," a reference to the June 10-20 student-led unrest.

The protests swelled after many residents of Tehran were urged to take to the streets by foreign-based opposition satellite television broadcasts.

The ownership of satellite equipment is illegal in the country, and the paper said offending households received court summons and fines ranging between one and five million rials (120 and 600 dollars).

Witnesses in one neighbourhood near Tehran University, the epicenter of the virulent protests, said many of the raids were carried out by plainclothes men who could be seen throwing dishes from rooftops.

Around a dozen opposition television stations beam Persian-language broadcasts into Iran. Most are run by sympathisers of the monarchy that was ousted in 1979.

The struggle by Iran's clerical leaders against the broadcasts also includes attempts to jam reception of the stations in the capital, where hundreds of thousands of people are believed to own dishes and receivers.
11 posted on 07/03/2003 7:52:41 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... 6 days until July 9th)
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To: JulieRNR21; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Pan_Yans Wife; RobFromGa; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; ...
Powell: 'Keep out of Iran feud'

BBC News 7.3.2003

Iran's leaders reacted angrily to US support of the protests The US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, has said America should not get involved in Iran's internal politics.

In a radio interview, he said Washington should stay away from the "family fight" between the country's reformists and conservatives.

He also reminded listeners that Iran was a democracy and President Mohammad Khatami had been freely elected.

Washington upset Iran in June when President George W Bush welcomed a wave of protests against the country's religious leadership.

President Khatami was elected... not in an American kind of election but an election that essentially tapped into the desires of the people

US Secretary of State Colin Powell

The protests have since subsided and Mr Powell said in his interview that the United States should sit back and observe further developments.

He told the Washington radio station WMAL: "The best thing we can do right now is not get in the middle of this family fight too deeply.

Deep concerns

"Remember that the president of Iran is freely elected. President Khatami was elected by his people, not in an American kind of election but an election that essentially tapped into the desires of the people."

Several thousand people took to the streets in cities across Iran to protest against the conservative clerical establishment and the reformist President Khatami, who is accused of betraying hopes for change.

At the time, President Bush described the protests as "the beginnings of people expressing themselves toward a free Iran", prompting an angry response from Iranian leaders.

Mr Powell stressed that Washington still had deep concerns about Iran, one of President Bush's "axis of evil".

But he added that it was best for the US to see if the protest movement would pressure Iran's political and religious leaders "to see whether this causes them to realise that they are going down a loser trail".

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail me”

12 posted on 07/03/2003 8:11:33 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... 6 days until July 9th)
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