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Iranian news agency says its website has GONE DOWN ‘due to US sanctions’

Iranian news agency says its website has GONE DOWN ‘due to US sanctions’
The website of Iran’s Fars News Agency, often described as semi-state operator, has gone offline worldwide, with the agency claiming its server company blocked the site on orders from Washington.

Internet users trying to access farsnews.com on Friday found only a blank screen, along with a message stating “farsnews.com’s server IP address could not be found.” Fars News announced on Twitter that its server company had blocked the site because of US sanctions.

It is unclear where the server company is based, but several multinational tech firms have withdrawn service to Iranian users in the past, for fear of violating Washington’s ban on doing business with the Islamic republic. GitHub limited access to Iranian users last year, while Apple removed Iranian apps from its App Store two years earlier, as did Google. 

Google, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have all removed accounts they claim were linked to the Iranian government.

As Fars News remained inaccessible through Friday evening, state outlets Mehr News Agency, Press TV, and Islamic Republic News Agency were seemingly unaffected, and were, at the time of writing, accessible.

Iran is not the only country whose state media have been affected by US sanctions. Economic penalties on Venezuela led the Latin American country’s TeleSUR network to cut back on its programming in 2018. TeleSUR’s Facebook page was also repeatedly taken offline that year, with the network accusing the Silicon Valley company of targeted censorship.

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