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back to article US whacks sanctions on Iranians for web, TV censorship

The US has announced sanctions against Iran's communications minister and three other Iranians, as well as five companies and government departments in the Middle Eastern nation, for censoring the internet and media. The State Department said a statement yesterday it will prohibit American firms and individuals from doing …

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So, any chance Conroy would've been non-grata if Australia went ahead with their plans? I didn't think so.

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More likely Conroy was given a heads up by the US and dropped the internet filter...

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Big Brother

double standards

like the USA doesnt censor the web & television, i guess USA press isnt told not to broadcast USA war crimes, it just doesnt report them!

http://www.collateralmurder.com/

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I'm guessing Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and all those other middle eastern countries that do exactly the same thing are next? No I thought not at least be honest and admit you are doing this because you dont like them.

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better dead than red

Sounds like the anti-communist rhetoric of the 1950's in the US. I guess the US needs another war to justify an almost trillion dollar per year defense budget

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Re: better dead than red

Not quite. America has to pick up the slack from island nations that don't even have aircraft carriers.

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Stop

Re: better dead than red

"Picking up the slack" implies that there's a necessary role in starting random wars in poor countries. Do feel free to start the next one on your own, because I've seen enough servicemen's funerals in the name of no good cause.

In fact, despite a family background in the military, and having worked myself on military systems, I think that the British government NOT having the means to engage in misguided wars is probably a good thing. You Yanks should try it.

Mea culpa: Yeah, I know I shouldn't feed the trolls.

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Holmes

I just heard this morning

that Turkey imprisons by far more journalists and bloggers than any other country, including Iran and China, under its terrorism laws. Among other things, interviewing security personnel can put you on the midnight express...

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No country is worse than the USA

> No I thought not at least be honest and admit you are doing this because you dont like them.

Don't like them because they intend to start a war with them so a few rich guys can keep that wartime profit machine rolling beyond Iraq and Afghanistan. All mention or speculation of this will be censored from US media of course.

No country is currently more dangerous and corrupt than the USA. An evil empire indeed.

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Re: No country is worse than the USA

"....they intend to start a war with them so a few rich guys can keep that wartime profit machine rolling...." Yes, of course, the IAEA is a US only entity, the "International" part of its name is just there for fun, yes? That would be the IAEA that reported to the UN that Iran was in breach of their NPT obligations, that there was clear indications that Iran is developing nuke weapons. Massive, blinkered fail.

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Re: better dead than red

"Not quite. America has to pick up the slack from island nations that don't even have aircraft carriers."

Maybe we realised that if we didn't have one for a while, we won't have to come and help you fight so many of your dumb-ass tin-pot pointless wars every time you come knocking, which are held mainly so McDonald Douglass et al can sell some more stuff.

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Anonymous Coward

I find it interesting that the US Gov takes the Iranians to task for restricting information while charging Bradley Manning with releasing information the US Gov wanted kept quiet.

Not the first time for the USA either.

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Poor parallel.

In Iran, if it became known what he did, someone like Bradley would be sentenced to death and executed. And I don't want to know what would happen if they found out about the leaked state secrets. I was just referring to him being gay.

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Go USA!!!

Thank God that there are nations out there who are unwavering in their defence of the freedom of the internet! Just look at how those mad mullahs from the Farsi Battalions of Iran [presume that's what it stands for?] are gagging freedom of expression.

Gawwd Bless Hypocrisy Murkka!

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And the USA wonders why it is so despised world-wide?

On the scale of international affairs this is just so petty. No wonder the bastards get bombed and attacked.

Of course this international defender of freedom doesn't do anything illegal like planting Stuxnet, etc., and it expects countries to allow it to carry on without retribution?

All smart terrorists have long moved any assets from the States and, knowing they would be denied visas in any event, don't include the US in their itineraries unless they are planning an encore to 2001. Singapore is a far better destination for bent money.

Israel has nuclear weapons, and no inspections or restraints, nor does India or Pakistan. I'd rather Iranian ragtops had nuclear weapons than Pakistan. At least they are stable.

China now manufactures high-voltage, high-current trigger switches - one brand in the US is coloured a delightful light blue - which are used to trigger a nuclear explosion. So yet another US-restricted component is freely available.

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Re: And the USA wonders why it is so despised world-wide?

Your post is all over the place to address in its entirety, ranging from callous to ignorant. So, I'll just stick to 2 points:

- It's all the rage among liberals and antisemites to point to Israeli nukes in their utterly baffling defense of Iran. However, Israel is not NPT signatory and so can do whatever it wants with regards to nuclear weapons. You may not like it, but they aren't breaking international law by developing them. Iran has received their initial nuclear technology and know-how from United States and other NPT countries. The transfer of that technology was conditional on not developing it for nuclear purposes. Iran has violated that treaty and Israel hasn't signed it. Nor did India or Pakistan.

- Stuxnet is part of a shadow war. Iranians have claimed their own victories. You may sleep in a warm bed and enjoy a standard of living that's good enough to not allow you to worry about life's basic necessities and so behave in a morally righteous fashion as your basic needs are satisfied. However, know this: in large part you owe your high standard of living to those who play these shadow games for the benefit and well-being of our countries and citizens.

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Re: And the USA wonders why it is so despised world-wide?

"- It's all the rage among liberals and antisemites..."

Ah yes, the old "anyone who disagrees with Israel's politics is antisemitic.

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Re: And the USA wonders why it is so despised world-wide?

So in other words, what you're saying is that you aren't able to address factual argument about NPT presented in point 1 and philosophical one in point 2.

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Re: And the USA wonders @solidsoup

"in large part you owe your high standard of living to those who play these shadow games for the benefit and well-being of our countries and citizens"

I think you watch too much TV, or are daft enough to believe what your government tell you - probably the latter judging by your emotive language. The standards of living in the UK, Europe, and the US are down to the rule of law and hard work, and the material threat from third world hell holes is minimal (and that threat is increased by the shadow wars, interventions and provocations of the West). Even if every claimed terror threat that the bearded loones have attempted had delivered a "successful" attack, the impact would be substantially less than most countries kill in car crashes in a week. The UK, you may remember, faced an active terrorist threat from Irish terrorists for twenty years without materially affecting our standard of living. But of course that was actively sponsored and supported by the Yanks, who did nothing to close down scum like Noraid, and precious little to intercept weapons, and deliberately refused to return fugitive terrorists. Funny how you lot became all serious about selected forms of terrorism when Bin Laden sent a calling card.

I'd agree that Stuxnet is part of a shadow war, but lets be clear about who initiated cyber warfare, and legitamised its use in peace time. Interesting to note that only now, four years after they commissioned these acts of agression, are Western governments starting to worry about the threat to their own infrastructure. Do you really call that working for our benefit and well-being? I call that a shocking lack of preparation, and akin to invading a country without any clue or plan for what you're going to do when you've won the war.

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Re: And the USA wonders why it is so despised world-wide?

"So in other words, what you're saying is that you aren't able to address factual argument about NPT presented in point 1 and philosophical one in point 2."

Let me offer a view on the NPT aspect. Israel got most of its nuke tech from the US. You can claim otherwise, but that's about as likely as Belgium developing advanced nuclear technologies entirely on its own.

So both Iran and Israel are in receipt of bits of US developed nuclear technology. Neither are NPT signatories, but you're trying to claim that its OK for one to develop nuclear weapons (the one that goes round bombing neighbouring countries' infrastructure), but not the other one (which other than a modest bit of regional shit stirring hasn't attacked anybody for a long, long while).

I should point out that I'm no friend of Iran, but all this sanctimonious demonisation of the country doesn't convince anybody other than the neocons who write it, and actively impedes any prospect of stability.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And the USA wonders @solidsoup

"I think you watch too much TV, or are daft enough..."

@Ledswinger

I'd +10 your post if I could... +1 for the post in general, and +9 for reminding them about Noraid etc.

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@Ledswinger

1) US hasn't given Israel ANYTHING in the way of nuclear technology. 60% it got from France. 40% it developed in-house. Some processes Israel developed for uranium enrichment have actually been adopted by US.

2) IRAN IS NPT SIGNATORY. What it received nuclear tech from US, it took upon itself an obligation to never develop nuclear weapons.

3) The opening salvo of the shadow war was Iran holding American diplomats hostage, which is violation of international law.

4) I also don't like sanctimonious Iran-bashing (if you note my first comment here), but US hypocrisy doesn't make Iran equivalent to US or Israel, logically or morally.

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Re: And the USA wonders why it is so despised world-wide?

".....So both Iran and Israel are in receipt of bits of US developed nuclear technology. Neither are NPT signatories...." Major fail - Iran signed up for the NPT but has been found to be in breach of the terms of the Treaty. Israel has never signed the Treaty and has no intention of ever doing so.

".....but that's about as likely as Belgium developing advanced nuclear technologies entirely on its own...." It's highly likely the Belgians have more than enough knowledge to develop nukes if they wanted to (or had the spare budget to), seeing as Belgium has plenty of highly educated scientists and engineers and no current sanctions on either the computer euipment or items necessary to build them. But then Belgium is also a party to the NPT.

".....I should point out that I'm no friend of Iran....." Nope, you'er just the usual frothing Libtard without a clue, hence your not knowing about Iran and the NPT.

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Re: And the USA wonders why @Matt Bryant

".....I should point out that I'm no friend of Iran....." Nope, you'er just the usual frothing Libtard without a clue, hence your not knowing about Iran and the NPT."

Likewise, I could have accused you of being some bitter GOP neocon, still frothing over Medicare and the relection of Obama. But I haven't, and don't, because the process of debate is not helped by weak and unjustified ad hominems, and because unlike you I'm not jumping to any conclusions about who you are, where you're from, and what you believe - other than that which you put your name to.

If you want to take issue about treaties in such a pompous manner, then do feel free. So what if Iran signed the NPT? They are being menaced by a nuclear armed non-signatory of the NPT, who have conducted assassinations and sabotage within the borders of Iran, and in their place I'd be fully committed to achieving a better balance of arms. Try putting yourself in the place of the rulers of Iran - looking at recent history (Israeli sabotage and assassinations, Israel's one sided war on Lebanon etc, a US war of choice in Iraq, US & NATO intervention in Libya, "whenever we like" drone strikes from Somalia through to Pakistan). Now why would you trust the West for a nano-second?

And I do believe that the US will have signed treaties to safeguard people against torture, funnily enough they choose not to abide by those when it suits them. But that'll be different, won't it?

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Re: @solidsoup

"I also don't like sanctimonious Iran-bashing (if you note my first comment here), but US hypocrisy doesn't make Iran equivalent to US or Israel, logically or morally."

I don't believe anybody has suggested that it is. As I see it Iran is a fetid, corrupt third world dump, governed by an anti-democratic bunch of thugs, schemers and pseudo-clerics. But as we've seen in Iraq and Afghanistan, you can't impose modern western values and structures on these countries - it took the West around five hundred years to get to current (rather suspect) levels of democracy and freedom compared to where the Middle East is.

The big question is how to deal with Iran and its nuclear ambitions. Sanctions have done little in this or other countries. Military intervention has, and will have, no UN support, and is unlikely to have a desired outcome. Even if they sterilised the Iranian nuke programme, they have committed an act of war against a country that has focused on asymmetric warfare, thus opening up a series of follow on problems of regional stability. North Korea is even more of an unstable basket case than Iran, already have nuclear technologies, and nobody is suggesting pre-emptive bombings there.

On the subject of where Israel's nuclear tech came from, maybe it didn't come from the US - we aren't going to ever find out, and I'll choose to believe that the US did supply some of it. Having bankrolled the Israeli military to the tune of almost $100 billion, and supplied most of the aircraft for Israel's airforce, all of its attack helicopters, many of its missiles, I can't see why they wouldn't go the whole hog. And if the US didn't approve, then they wouldn't continue to bankroll Israel, would they, given the leverage they have? So the US actively offer economic and military support to the posession of nuclear weapons by a NPT non-signatory.

And why would France supply nuclear tech to Israel? At the time that Israel was developing these weapons, France had an embargo on weapons sales to Israel (and Israel developed the pre-embargo Mirages into the Kfir because they couldn't get more advanced French jets). Do you really think they were proposing not to sell a few guns and planes, but happy to sell critical nuke technology? Perhaps they were, I don't believe it, and I smell a cover story that is intended to distract attention from the obvious tech supplier.

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Re: Re: And the USA wonders why @Matt Bryant

".....So what if Iran signed the NPT?...." As apologist blather that's on par with saying "so what if Hitler invaded Poland"! Only a completely blinkered, self-deceiving fool would even try and argue the simple fact that the NPT is a simple exchange - the party gets nuke tech in return for promising to only use it for civil, peaceful means and promises not to use it to develop nuke weapons. Iran has been caught doing just that. I bet you're one of those idiots that swallows the Iranian excuse that they "accidentally" made 20% enriched uranium from a stock of 3.5% enriched material, something they could only use for a nuke weapon? Since you are so obviously and wilfully uninformed I'd probably explain that's the same level of industrial activity as "accidentally" processing 3 million barrels of unleaded petrol from heavy tar, i.e., simply not beleivable. What, you think all it took was Achmed taking an early lunch and he just happened to leave a centrifuge on for an extra cycle? It would take hundreds of centrifuges running day and night to enrich uranium from 3.5% to 20%. The electrical power alone would be enough for a major citiy and is not just going to be missed in some "accidental" enrichment. Go buy a clue, you seem incapable of attaiing one by other means.

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Re: And the USA wonders why @Matt Bryant

I call Godwin.

The rest of your spittle frothed invective doesn't really merit a response, but can I ask why do you let yourself down like this? Sometimes you're capable of reasoned thought and make good contributions, but only the other week you made an ass of yourself in a discussion with h4rmony, in exactly the same manner as you have here, spiralling down to abuse when you don't seem to be getting the better of the argument. It's not the name calling that I mind - I can do that when I choose, and I'm not posting under my given name - but that you're cr@pping on your own lawn needlessly.

All of us are wrong sometimes, but I find it better to slink away quietly on those (hopefully) rare occasions that I mess up - you might want to try that.

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Re: Re: And the USA wonders why @Matt Bryant

"I call Godwin....." Well I suppose it was far too much to ask of you to actually post an argument.

"..... doesn't really merit a response......" Oh, go on, just admit you don't have a clue and get it over with. It's not that you don't want to respond, it's just that you can't.

".....when you don't seem to be getting the better of the argument...." LOL, that would be funny if you had actually presented ANY form of argument. You didn't, you simply lost by default and are now whining about being called on it.

Tell you what, you go away, look up enrichment, study up on the matter and work out just how much 3.5% enriched uranium it would take to get to just the few grams of 20% enriched uranium found by the IAEA inspectors. Then try and explain how that much material could just be "accidentally" processed considering the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran tracks and monitors every milligram. I won't even ask you to try and think of a civillian use for it in Iran as that much of a step would be far too much for you.

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Internet Watch Foundation?

So what action has the US taken against the "Internet Watch Foundation" censoring the web here in the UK? Do tell us if it looks similar, or tells of double-standards?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Internet Watch Foundation?

Talking of double standards, and this is not really a good comparison, but if the US is willing impose sanctions for web & TV censorship, will it therefore be honest* and fair* enough to reduce sanctions again Palestine for the decision of Mahmoud Abbas to reverse an order censoring news websites linked to one of his fiercest critics?

* Of course, the words 'honesty' and 'fair' are synonymous with 'hypocrisy' in the US.

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Re: Internet Watch Foundation?

".....reduce sanctions again Palestine...." Stop talking rot. The 2006-2007 sanctions imposed by the Quartet (not just the US) were on the elected Hamas administration, not Abbas, and were set because Hamas does not recognise Israel and still maintains the destruction of Israel as the basis of their charter. It is highly unlikley the Quartet will be dropping all the sanctions on Hamas soon. By the way, Hamas has no interest in actually rebuilding the Gaza Strip as anything other than a war base to attack Israel, and has violently repressed attempts as an Arab Spring in Gaza (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/10/hamas-support-wane).

However, the Quartet did drop a large number of the sanctions on Abbas's West Bank Fatah administration in 2007 after it split (violently) from the joint government with Hamas. That was so as to enable Abbas to receive approximately $400m of tax revenues collected in the Palestine Authority by Israel (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/25/world/middleeast/25westbank.html?fta=y). It did nothing to stop Fatah intimidating, arresting and disappearing their political opponents in the West Bank. Abbas has since extended his period of unelected rule as President which should have expired in 2009. Ironicly, even the UN has noted that it is safer for Fatah's opponents in the West Bank to live in the areas under Israeli military control than the areas under Fatah's jurisdiction. Abbas's adminstration of the West bank is so corrupt and oppressive that the area is judged "not free", i.e., a non-democratic dictatorship (http://expression.freedomhouse.org/reports/freedom_in_the_world/2011/israeli-occupied-territories-0), having undue influence and control over the media, police, judicial system and government posts, and often imprisoning their opponents without due process and then torturing them in captivity (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/oct/05/fatah-hamas-torture-trial).

Since Obambi made his first stupid claim that he could fix the Israeli-Arab conflict he has failed to force the Palestinians to the neogtiating table. The one attempt failed dramatically when Abbas and his goons used "settlement expansion" as an excuse to walk out. Since he has no other stick to beat them with, or refuses to find a better stick, it is unlikely the new Obumbler administration will remove any more sanctions. Indeed, seeing as Fatah bucked all attempts to sort their corrupt practices, including trying to get rid of the anti-corruption PM Fayyad, it is unlikely any more sanctions will be dropped. But you go on pretending that they're worthy of dropping sanctions if you like.

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Anonymous Coward

US whacks sanctions on Iranians

for being Iranian and having the temerity to breathe.

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Coat

Blocking Facebook is evil

. . . hit with sanctions for monitoring web traffic and blocking access to Facebook . . .

If people can't access Facebook, how is the US going to get access to their personal information?

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US whacks sanctions on China for web, TV censorship

Probably not - http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/11/09/google_blocked_china/

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Megaphone

Shall we stick to the issues?

"As apologist blather that's on par with saying "so what if Hitler invaded Poland"! Only a completely blinkered, self-deceiving fool would even try and argue...."

"Go buy a clue, you seem incapable of attaiing one by other means."

Man, what part of @Ledswinger's comment "...because the process of debate is not helped by weak and unjustified ad hominems, and because unlike you I'm not jumping to any conclusions about who you are, where you're from, and what you believe - other than that which you put your name to."... don't you get?

If you feel that you can't debate something important without behaving like a sullen teenager then why bother. Its called playing the ball and not the man. Look up the term "ad hominem". If your points are good and solid then they'll speak for themselves. If not then they're open to debate, just like everyone else's.

And if you think that reading the Guardian and the New York Times makes you informed then I suggest that you might want to broaden your reading horizons. Things are generally not what they seem, whether its Iran, the US, the UK or Israel.

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Re: Shall we stick to the issues?

".....If you feel that you can't debate something important...." It's more of a matter of trying to debate anything with someone as stupid as to start their "defence" with "so what if Iran broke the NPT". If you think the response was fit for a sullen teenager then, going by the amazing level of obtuseness he displays, it was at exactly the right level for Ledswinger. Oh, and thanks for adding so much vital insight into the matter. Oh, hold on a sec - you added SFA! What a surprise. You couldn't actually debate the points of either Iran's breaches of the NPT or of their claiming to "accidentally" enrich uranium far past civillian uses, so instead you tried to get on your moral hobbyhorse. Major fail, I suggest you join Ledswinger in reading up on the basics of the matter in hand.

"....Things are generally not what they seem, whether its Iran, the US, the UK or Israel." A great indication of exactly why you need remdeial studies - not one iota of anything vaguely resembling an argument to back up that tinfoil special of a statement. Don't bother trying to buy a clue, you probably can't afford that level of brain surgery, just borrow Ledswinger's when he gets one.

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