Iranian outrage meets Al Alam satellite shutdown

Iranians condemn Arabic-language network's shutdown in Middle East.
Al Alam has been a vocal critic of Saudi Arabia's involvement in the current conflict in northern Yemen.
Al Alam has been a vocal critic of Saudi Arabia's involvement in the current conflict in northern Yemen.

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Iran’s Arabic-language news network al Alam has hit out at Arabsat after the Saudi-based satellite service provider took the channel off the air for the second time in three months.

In a statement issued on its website, the Iranian broadcaster claimed the development represented a “continuation of [Arabsat’s] censorship policies”.

“[In] a move to confront the news networks which reflect the realities of the world, [Arabsat] has once again cut broadcasting of the al Alam network," it read.

Iran’s media mouthpiece, the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA), claimed the move followed pressure from the Saudi Arabian government in response to al Alam’s coverage of the ongoing conflict in northern Yemen between government forces and Al Qaeda-backed rebels.

It also cited an interview aired on al Alam with an unnamed Saudi Arabian 'opposition leader', as reason for Arabsat's decision to remove the channel.

“Al Alam is among the few satellite networks in the region that supports resistance and revealed the contradiction in information policies of regional countries and particularly Persian Gulf States during Israel’s invasion against Lebanon and Gaza,” the ISNA said in a statement.

Al Alam was previously removed from the air by both Arabsat and fellow Middle East satellite service provider Nilesat in November.

DPme.com was still awaiting comment from Arabsat at the time of press.

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