Nobel winner Ebadi urges EU, US to ban Iran from TV satellites

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Nobel Peace laureate Shirin Ebadi yesterday called on the European Union and United States to ban Iran from using US and European satellites to broadcast what she described as the Islamic Republic’s propaganda.

Ebadi, an Iranian lawyer and former judge who won the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize for her work promoting human rights in Iran, also accused Western powers of focusing too little attention on rights abuses as they pursue a deal with Tehran aimed at curbing its nuclear ambitions.

She criticized the economic and financial sanctions regime against Iran, a web of US, EU and UN measures aimed at crippling Tehran’s nuclear and missile programs and pressuring the government to abandon what Western powers and their allies suspect is a quest to develop an atomic weapons capability.

“Economic sanctions have impacted powerfully,” Ebadi, 66, told Reuters in an interview. “People have become very poor. Some kinds of medications cannot be found in Iran.

The price of food is higher in Iran than in the US or Europe.”

The sanctions that are harming ordinary Iranians should be replaced with ones that weaken the government but not the people, she said.

One example she gave involved barring Iran from using US and European satellites to broadcast programmes in more than a dozen non-Farsi languages outside the country.

“We have to stop the government of Iran from being able to use the satellites,” Ebadi said through an interpreter. “This way we can close down the propaganda microphones of the government.”

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