Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

A thin line between fact-checking and propaganda in Gaza social media coverage

Read more

DEBATE

Gaza: How to Stop the Spiral? Israel Readies For Ground Offensive (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Gaza: How to Stop the Spiral? Israel Readies For Ground Offensive

Read more

FOCUS

Ireland's missing babies casting light on a dark history...

Read more

WEB NEWS

World Cup 2014: Germany-Brazil inspires the Web

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Boutros-Ghali: 'I wanted to reform the UN'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

57 000 little problems

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

The Sarkozy 'threat'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Budget challenge for India's new government

Read more

  • Hamas rockets reaching deeper into Israel

    Read more

  • French companies will have to accept anonymous CVs

    Read more

  • Ukrainian forces close in on Donetsk

    Read more

  • Germany asks US intelligence station chief to leave country

    Read more

  • Death toll rises in Gaza as militants target Israeli cities

    Read more

  • UN chief Ban Ki-moon appoints new Syria mediator

    Read more

  • Video: Muslims in China confront obstacles to Ramadan fasting

    Read more

  • Tour de France passes WWI Chemin des Dames battlefield

    Read more

  • Senegalese man awarded French visa in gay marriage debate

    Read more

  • Israel steps up airstrikes as diplomacy gets under way

    Read more

  • Argentina beat Netherlands on penalties to reach World Cup final

    Read more

  • Foiled French jihadist ‘targeted Louvre and Eiffel Tower’

    Read more

  • Obama in Texas to urge congressional action on child migrant crisis

    Read more

  • Iraq’s heritage 'in danger' from ISIS militants

    Read more

  • 100 years on, the Tour de France returns to the Western Front

    Read more

Americas

Obama slams Iran’s ‘electronic curtain’

©

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-03-21

Speaking in a video message marking the Persian new year, US President Barack Obama called for dialogue with the Iranian people and slammed the Iranian government for establishing an “electronic curtain” which blocked access to the outside world.

AP - President Barack Obama on Tuesday made a direct appeal to the Iranian people, saying there was “no reason for the United States and Iran to be divided from one another.”

In a video message marking the Persian new year, known as Nowruz, Obama said the U.S. seeks a dialogue with the Iranian people in order hear their views and understand their aspirations. And he sharply rebuked the Iranian government for setting up an “electronic curtain” around its people that the U.S. says blocks access to much of the outside world.

“Increasingly, the Iranian people are denied the basic freedom to access the information that they want,” Obama said. “Instead, the Iranian government jams satellite signals to shut down television and radio broadcasts. It censors the Internet to control what the Iranian people can see and say. The regime monitors computers and cell phones for the sole purpose of protecting its own power.”

The president has often sought to use the occasion of Nowruz to separate America’s relationship with the Iranian people from its tumultuous dealings with the government in Tehran, which the U.S. and its allies say is defying its international obligations by pursuing an illicit nuclear program.

Fears of a preemptive Israeli strike on Iranian nuclear facilities have added fresh urgency to those concerns in the first months of this year. The Obama administration opposes using military force against Iran at this point, preferring to rely on a steam of economic sanctions aimed at pressuring Iran to abandon its nuclear ambitions.

Despite the increasingly strict sanctions, Obama said in his Nowruz message that his administration wanted to make it easier for U.S. businesses to provide software and services in Iran that would make it easier for the Iranian people to use the Internet.

The Treasury Department issued new guidelines Tuesday allowing U.S. companies to export software and other materials to Iran that support Internet messaging services like Skype and Yahoo Messenger, Internet browsers and other online communications capabilities.

“The United States will continue to draw attention to the electronic curtain that is cutting the Iranian people off from the world,” Obama said. “And we hope that others will join us in advancing a basic freedom for the Iranian people: the freedom to connect with one another, and with their fellow human beings.”

Iran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes and says it is not pursuing a bomb.

Date created : 2012-03-20

  • USA

    Obama says diplomacy can stop Iran getting bomb

    Read more

  • IRAN - NUCLEAR

    UN Security Council to resume Iran nuclear talks

    Read more

  • IRAN - NUCLEAR

    IAEA reports 'major concerns' over Iran's nuclear drive

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)