LONDON Oct 18 The BBC said on Thursday that
broadcasts had been disrupted in the Middle East and Europe,
just weeks after its satellite transmission provider accused
Iran of trying to jam U.S. and European programmes.
Britain's public broadcaster did not say who was interfering
with the signal, but the company which transmits some of its
programmes, Paris-based Eutelsat, said on Oct. 4 that
Iran had been deliberately jamming satellite signals.
Eutelsat, one of Europe's leading satellite providers, said
this week it had taken Iranian state television and radio
channels off the air to comply with tougher EU sanctions on the
"The BBC, together with a number of other broadcasters, is
experiencing deliberate, intermittent interference to its
transmissions to audiences in Europe and the Middle East," the
BBC said in a statement.
"Deliberate interference such as the jamming of
transmissions is a blatant violation of international
regulations concerning the use of satellites and we strongly
condemn any practice designed to disrupt audiences' free access
to news and information," the broadcaster said.
A spokeswoman for the BBC declined to say who could be
responsible for the disruption. A spokeswoman for Eutelsat could
not be reached for comment.
In February, the then head of the BBC, Mark Thompson, said
Iran had repeatedly tried to jam the BBC's Persian-language
television programmes and said Iranian authorities had arrested
and threatened BBC Persian staff.
"For those working for the BBC Persian service, interference
and harassment from the Iranian authorities has become a
challenging fact of life," Thompson said at the time.
Last September, Iran arrested several people for supplying
information to the BBC, accusing them of seeking to portray a
negative image of the Islamic Republic.
The BBC said on Thursday that services suffering disruption
included the BBC World News and BBC Arabic television channels
and BBC World Service radio services in English and Arabic.
Eutelsat, which has been calling for Iran to stop jamming
signals since May 2009, said programming by the BBC, Voice of
America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty had been disrupted.