"Increase the budget of VOA Persian," and more international broadcasting to Iran in the news.

Posted: 25 Sep 2011

National Iranian American Council, 23 Sept 2011, Loren White: At a hearing of a House committee on 22 September, "Mehdi Khalaji of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) stated, 'I think that it is very important to strengthen our diplomatic relationship with the Iranian people.' He offered two methods for helping achieve this--increase the budget of Voice of America Persian, and increase 'people to people exchanges,' with Iran by easing travel and study visas restrictions for Iranian citizens to come to the U.S."

House Subcommittee on the Middle East and Africa, 22 Sept 2011 (find the hearing on 22 Sept, then click on the names for testimony)...

Michael Singh, managing director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy: "[W]e should strive to break the Syrian, and particularly the Iranian, regimes’ monopoly on information. This requires a multifaceted effort. We should step up our efforts to broadcast accurate and unbiased information into these countries via satellite, internet, and other means. We should increase our efforts to counter the regimes’ efforts to interfere with those broadcasts. We should push back on the regimes’ efforts to spread their own misleading propaganda domestically and internationally. And we should do that which is in our power to aid Iranians and Syrians themselves, most importantly, to disseminate news and information."

Mehdi Khalaji, senior fellow of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy: "Despite the fact that the Islamic Republic is legally committed not to interfere with other countries' satellite broadcasting in Iran, the regime regularly jams transmission of television and radio satellite programming and violates rules set up by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). This is a clear violation of the Iranian people's right to receive and impart information and ideas through the media. Unfortunately, the ITU has little authority to enforce its rulings. Yet because Iran itself is using the same satellites -- including Eutelsat, Hotbird, and Nilesat -- to broadcast in other countries in different languages, Congress can pass a bill prohibiting Iran from using any service that interrupts other countries' usage in a manner that violates international law. U.S. and European satellite companies in particular should not provide services to Iran if the regime continues to jam satellite transmission of U.S. and European-based television and radio. Also, individuals who are involved in planning and executing the jamming of satellite transmissions should be sanctioned.", 24 Sept 2011, Alidad Mafinezam: Ramin Asgard, director of the VOA Persian Service, is one of this year's an honorees of the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian-Americans.

The Christian Post, 23 Sept 2011, Alex Murashko: "The Iranian government’s tracking of Christians in Iran has intensified over the last several months, according to Open Doors USA, an organization that provides help to persecuted believers in Jesus worldwide. ... Michael Wood, an American who works in the Middle East office of Open Doors USA, told The Christian Post that the house church movement in Iran is one of the fastest growing in the world. However, the Iranian government is doing its best to squelch the movement, he said. ... 'We heavily use radio broadcasts, short wave and satellite TV broadcasts to send programs back into the country that are used in house church groups,' Wood said. However, this method has also proven to be risky. 'Satellite broadcasting in the country is illegal,' he noted. 'It’s illegal to have a satellite dish, but if you were ever to fly into Tehran you would see satellite dishes all over the roofs of homes.'"

Copyright 2006–2019 Kim Andrew Elliott.