Iran Shuts Down BBC Feed, Blocks Coverage From Egypt

Ahmadinejad wouldn’t want the Iranians to get another idea like the one they had back in September, 2009.

The BBC’s Persian TV service is being jammed from within Iran due to its coverage of the unrest in Egypt.

It appears that the trigger point was a joint broadcast on Wednesday by the corporation’s Persian and Arabic services in which Iranian and Egyptian callers exchanged views.

Many Iranian viewers said during the interactive programme that they were watching events unfold in Cairo extremely closely.

Peter Horrocks, head of BBC Global News, called for an end to the jamming, saying: “It is wrong that our significant Iranian audience is being denied impartial news and information…

“The BBC will not stop covering Egypt and it will continue to broadcast to the Iranian people.”

BBC Persian TV launched in 2009 and has suffered similar attempts to interfere with its signal intermittently ever since. But it continues to stream live online.

Coincidentally, today marks the 31st anniversary of the uprising by the Iranian people against the Shah.

A contrast between George Bush’s push for democratization and Obama’s bumbling ass-kissing, via Jake Tapper.

An accounting of the full two years of President Obama’s policy towards Egypt – prior to January 25, 2011 – may be in order.

As ably covered by the Washington Post’s Fact Checker – and former State Department reporter – Glenn Kessler, the Obama administration was far more quiet on the need for Egypt to engage in serious political reform, at least publicly, than the Bush administration.

Perhaps more glaringly, while the Bush administration tried to directly fund civil society in Egypt – pro-democracy groups and the like – the Obama administration changed that policy and cut funding significantly, ending an effort to provide direct funding to democracy groups not “approved” by the Egyptian government, and reduced funding in the budget for programs to promote civil society groups.

As Kessler writes: Bush’s final budget “proposed spending $45 million on democracy and good-governance programs in Egypt, including more than $20 million on promoting civil society…But that nascent effort was largely shelved when the Obama administration took office. For fiscal year 2009, the administration immediately halved the money for democracy promotion in Egypt; the civil society funds were slashed 70 percent, to $7 million. Meanwhile, money that was to be given directly to civil society groups was eliminated and the administration agreed to once again fund only those institutions that had Mubarak’s seal of approval.”

Freedom House in 2009 wrote that the Obama Administration “should reassess this reduction in support and strengthen its diplomatic efforts on behalf of independent democracy and human rights activists in this important country.”

In 2010, Freedom House wrote: “We have serious concerns about the US Government decision to stop funding civil society groups not registered with the Egyptian Ministry of Social Solidarity, essentially giving the Egyptian Government veto power over who receives funding from USAID. Not only is this decision harmful to civil society groups in Egypt, it sets a dangerous precedent in terms of U.S. foreign assistance.”

Obama’s inept handling of foreign policy was demonstrated when he insulted the United States and revised history to suit his muslim audience in Cairo. There, in June of 2009, he sucked Mubarak’s cock and declared “Islam is part of America”.
In his world, maybe.
He’ll be handling this crisis in the same fashion.

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