Baku, Azerbaijan, August 4
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
Iran's Intelligence Ministry stated that some citizens were arrested on charges of working for illegal extremist Shiite satellite channels during the large-scale operations in the country's four provinces.
The ministry said in its statement that the security forces have closed down the illegal offices of the satellite channels in the provinces of Qom, Tehran, Esfahan and Khorasan Razavi, Iran's Fars news agency reported on August 3.
The arrested persons were working for the U.S. and the UK based satellite channels which are exacerbating religious differences and divisions in the Islamic world, the statement reads.
The foreign media department of Iran's Ministry of Culture said early in May that the activity of the extremist Shiite satellite television network is illegal in Iran and may be prosecuted.
Several of these television channels which have been criticized for their anti-Sunni broadcasts have offices in Iran and are supported by some senior clerics in the country's holy city of Qom.
Previously, the governor of the Qom province, Mohammad Sadeq Salehimanesh responded to the complaints by Hassan Nasrallah, the secretary-general of Lebanon's Hezbollah who called for tight control over the religious satellite television networks the programs of which are provided by clerics and others in the Iranian city of Qom.
"Our dear brother Hassan Nasrallah sent a delegation to me and asked that some of the satellite stations that were fed from Qom should be brought under control," Salehimanesh said.
Nasrollah was referring to anti-Sunni programs produced in Qom and broadcasted on satellite television stations that are registered outside Iran.