Iran claims FBI blocking Web sites

June 26, 2009 at 3:25 PM
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TEHRAN, June 26 (UPI) -- Iranian broadcasters claim the FBI ordered the disruption of Internet servers that host Iranian Web sites in the wake of Iran's election fallout.

The Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting network claims the FBI ordered Washington to disconnect 80 news, social networking and other Web sites, including the Beirut bureau of Press TV, because of depictions of government protesters.

IRIB claims the FBI disconnected the servers because one of the Web sites had published photos of demonstrators in a manner that those involved were readily identifiable.

IRIB counters that this comes as amateur Web resources and unverifiable accounts published thousands of pictures in which individuals are easily identified.

The Iranian broadcaster complains international regulations require advance notification of any disruption to allow owners to provide for backups.

The FBI had no information on Iranian Web activity.

Several of Iran's English-language news services were either overwhelmed or otherwise affected in the wake of the disputed June 12 presidential election.

Bloody demonstrations followed official determination that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had won a second term in office. Iranian authorities claimed foreign media outlets were misrepresenting the situation on the ground in the wake of the election, making any claims difficult to verify.

Foreign media are banned from covering the demonstrations.

Tehran also blames the CIA and foreign dissidents for stoking the violence in Iran.

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