Summary: 14 November 2012, Brussels - The spokesperson of Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission, issued the following statement today:
"Since 2009, repeated waves of jamming have affected the signals of European satellites in the Middle East. Such jamming, whose origin has been traced to Iran in particular, are hampering the broadcast of international media on Iranian territory. The jamming, notably against BBC, Deutsche Welle, France 24, and Voice of America, has intensified since 15 October and obstructs over 500 TV channels and 200 radio channels. This illegal interference with satellite signals is affecting not only broadcasting on Iranian territory, but also international broadcasting to the wider region.
The High Representative is highly concerned by such practices, which deprive Iranian citizens of access to free information.
She recalls the provisions of the ITU Radio Regulations, which in article 15.1 forbids "to carry out unnecessary transmissions, or the transmission of superfluous signals, or the transmission of false or misleading signals, or the transmission of signals without identification".
The High Representative calls on Iran to abide by its obligations under article 15.25 of the ITU Radio Regulations and to "cooperate in the detection and elimination of harmful interference". Respect for the universal right to free expression including the right of any individual to seek, receive and share information, irrespective of borders is an international commitment which Iran itself subscribed to under the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights."