US imposes fresh sanctions against Iranian entities

The US yesterday imposed sanctions on Iranian state-sponsored broadcasters in a bid to up pressure on the country's controversial nuclear programme.

The action against the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting came from the US treasury department. Under the sanctions, the Iranian entity and its director Ezzatollah Zarghami have been blocked access to the US financial system. The sanctions also extend to the Iranian Cyber Police and two other entities - the Communications Regulatory Authority and Iran Electronics Industries.

Iran Electronics Industries, makes equipment used for jamming, monitoring and eavesdropping.

According to a US official, those named were involved in censorship, jamming, and using social media to hunt down political activists. The broadcasters have been targeted as the Iranian government censors the country's opposition movement.

A US law, provides for the treasury department to target anyone in Iran it believed restricted the flow of information to the Iranian public.

According to the treasury department, after Iran's 2009 presidential election and in the wake of the Arab Spring movements, Tehran intensified jamming of foreign channels, especially the British Broadcasting Corporation and Voice of America.