This from the BBC Editors Blog:
Stop the blocking now
BBC audiences in Iran, the Middle East and Europe may be experiencing
disruption to their BBC TV or radio services today. That is because
there is heavy electronic jamming of one of the satellites the BBC
uses in the Middle East to broadcast the BBC Persian TV signal to
Iran. Satellite technicians have traced that interference and it is
coming from Iran. There has been intermittent interference from Iran
since Friday but this is the heaviest yet.
It seems to be part of a pattern of behaviour by the Iranian
authorities to limit the reporting of the aftermath of the disputed
election. In Tehran John Simpson and his cameraman were briefly
arrested after they had filmed the material for this piece.
And at least one news agency in Tehran has come
under pressure not to distribute internationally any pictures it might
have of demonstrations on the streets in Iran.
However, the availability of witness material from Iran is enabling international news organisations to be
able to report the story. Viewers of BBC Persian TV have been in touch (in Farsi) sending videos, stills and providing personal accounts.
It is important that what is happening in Iran is reported to the
world, but it is even more vital that citizens in Iran know what is
happening. That is the role of the recently launched BBC Persian TV
which is fulfilling a crucial role in being a free and impartial
source of information for many Iranians. Any attempt to block this
channel is wrong and against international treaties on satellite
communication. Whoever is attempting the blocking should stop it now.
A return to cold-war attitudes to broadcasting? Potential risk: The satellite operators may come under pressure to drop news channels if the interference affects other commercial communications operations too widely. Which would be victory for jamming.