Tell the DOJ to cease and desist their sabotage of diplomacy with Iran!
On Tuesday, in the middle of negotiations to restore the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, the Biden administration seized dozens of Iranian-supported news websites and made them inaccessible, citing “misinformation”. It was not only a violation of free speech, but also a reckless thing to do while the U.S. and Iran are so close to reinstating the Nuclear Deal and lifting the debilitating sanctions on Iran that are causing immense suffering to the Iranian people during this pandemic. The seizure also came just days after the election of a new Iranian president—a conservative who is already a harsh critic of U.S. interference in Iranian affairs.
CODEPINK found out about the website seizure when we logged in on Monday morning. Checking the news and keeping up with current events is critical, so we opened PressTV, an Iranian news site that CODEPINK has done numerous interviews for. We were met with this:
But there’s more: the Biden administration also blocked Houthi-owned news sources just as Yemen and Saudi Arabia are approaching negotiations. The Biden administration says it’s serious about re-entering the nuclear deal, but this dramatic and undemocratic move suggests otherwise. The Justice Department said in a statement that the websites were violating U.S. sanctions and spreading disinformation. Is the U.S. really in a position to talk about the spread of disinformation?
For now, many of the websites have switched over to an Iranian domain and are up and running again. However, the original domains are still blocked and the point was made by the U.S. For Yemen, and for everyday Iranians suffering under brutal U.S. sanctions, any obstacle to these critical negotiations will cost lives. The U.S. cannot continue to act in imperial ways, especially if we really want diplomacy to work.
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