Website of Iran’s Fars news agency blocked by US Treasury

Press TV – Iran’s Fars news agency says its website has been blocked after the US Treasury Department blacklisted the media group.

In a post on its Twitter account, Farsnews said that access to its .com domain had been blocked upon the US Treasury’s order.

The news agency said that it had received an email from the server company, which explicitly said that the blockage is due to an order by the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and its inclusion in the list of Specially Designated Nationals (SDN).

The agency attached to its post a screenshot of its website with the message “www.farsnews.com’s server IP address could not be found.”

Now, access has become available to Farsnews’ website on its .ir domain.

Previously, Google, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter targeted Iranian accounts, including those belonging to broadcasters.

In December 2019, Google blocked access to Press TV and Hispan TV’s official YouTube accounts without any prior notice.

After President Donald Trump took office in 2017, Washington ramped up its efforts to target the Islamic Republic.

The campaign even assumed the self-styled title of “maximum pressure” under the current US president. The drive has seen the US leaving a multi-party nuclear agreement with Iran in May 2018, and returning the nuclear-related sanctions that the deal had lifted.

As part of the campaign, the US State Department has called on social media companies to block the accounts of Iranian government leaders, and iOS — a mobile operating system created by US company Apple Inc. — disabling Iranian applications.

The Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) has been targeted by the US sanctions since 2013. The US Treasury sanctioned IRIB Head Abdolali Ali-Asgari in May 2018.

The Trump administration hopes the “maximum pressure” policy would ultimately force Iran to negotiate the sweeping 2015 deal, covering its ballistic missile program and its role in Middle East.

The Islamic Republic, however, has held its ground and said it will not renegotiate the deal which Trump abandoned in May 2018 and announced the most draconian sanctions ever on the country.