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Iran will sue Spain over ban on satellite channels: Iranian envoy

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Iran’s ambassador to Madrid says a move to take Iranian satellite channels, including Press TV and Hispan TV, off the air shows the West’s ‘dishonesty,’ adding that Tehran will file a lawsuit against Spain in this regard.

Morteza Saffari said in a press conference in Madrid on Friday that “European countries” claim to defend freedom of speech and human rights, but they cannot tolerate “even two Iranian TV channels” that convey “Iran’s views” to the world.

We have reliable documents that the move to take Hispan TV, Iran’s Spanish-language news channel, off Hispasat has been carried out under the influence of certain “Zionist streams,” Saffari added.

The Iranian diplomat strongly criticized Madrid’s approach to the issue and called on Spanish authorities to prevent damage to Tehran-Madrid relations.

The move to stop the broadcast of Hispan TV has no legal basis, Saffari said, adding that Iran would submit a complaint to Spain’s judiciary within the next few days.

The Spanish government ordered Madrid’s regional government to stop Hispan TV’s broadcast as of January 21 in another blow to freedom of speech.

Hispan TV and Iran’s 24-hour English-language news channel Press TV have already been targeted by Hispasat’s fellow European satellite providers Eutelsat and Hotbird.

Hispasat is partly owned by Eutelsat, whose French-Israeli CEO is blamed for the recent wave of attacks on Iranian media in Europe.

The ban on Press TV and Hispan TV in Spain followed a similar move by France’s Eutelsat, which had already taken several Iranian satellite channels and radio stations off the air, claiming that the channels were removed because of “a wider interpretation of EU regulations.”

Eutelsat SA and Intelsat SA, which stopped the broadcast of several Iranian satellite channels in October 2012, have cited pressure by the European Union as the main reason.

However, the European Union has denied the claims by the European satellite companies.

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