Several Iranian websites displayed messages Tuesday stating they had been “seized by the United States government.”
Iranian media confirmed Tuesday that a number of state-linked news websites appeared “seized” by the American government without any clear reason or explanation.
The State Department did not immediately respond when asked by VOA for comment about the incident. However, the Associated Press quoted an unidentified U.S. official saying the United States had seized roughly three dozen websites, most of which are linked to disinformation efforts.
Among the sites abruptly taken offline were state television’s English-language Press TV, its Arabic channel Al-Alam, and Yemeni Houthi rebels’ Al-Masirah satellite news channel.
The messages that appeared on the sites read they had been “seized by the United States Government in accordance with a seizure warrant,” along with the seals of the FBI and the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security.
Al-Masirah released a statement acknowledging its seizure, saying it would continue its mission of “confronting the American and Israeli acts of piracy against our nation, by any means.”
State-run Press TV reports international news that is filtered through the lens of Iran’s leaders, commonly criticizing the foreign policy of the United States and Britain.
U.S. prosecutors seized 92 domain names last October it said were “unlawfully used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps” to spread misinformation.