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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
09KUWAIT917 2009-09-16 09:45:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kuwait
Cable title:  

IRANIAN JAMMING OF IBB SERVICES INTENSIFIES

Tags:   OIIP BBG KPAO PREL KU IR 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXRO6788
OO RUEHDE RUEHDH RUEHDIR
DE RUEHKU #0917 2590945
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 160945Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY KUWAIT
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3948
INFO RUEHZM/GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
					C O N F I D E N T I A L KUWAIT 000917 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR R AND NEA
DEFENSE FOR CENTCOM

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/16/2019
TAGS: OIIP BBG KPAO PREL KU IR
SUBJECT: IRANIAN JAMMING OF IBB SERVICES INTENSIFIES

REF: A. KUWAIT 778 (NOTAL)

B. KUWAIT 756

Classified By: Econcouns Oliver John for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)



1. (C) Summary: This cable provides additional information
on Iranian jamming of USG International Broadcasting Bureau
(IBB) transmissions (ref B). Recent months have seen a
significant increase in Iranian efforts to jam satellite
transmissions of Voice of America (VOA) Persian News Network
(PNN) and other Farsi-language broadcasting. While the GoI's
jamming efforts peaked during the aftermath of the June 12
elections in Iran, IBB officers believe that the regime
continues to seek to disrupt USG and other efforts to provide
the Iranian people with alternative news sources. End
Summary.



2. (C) In late August and early September, IBB officers
report, one of the commercial satellites transmitting VOA
Farsi-language broadcasting into Iran experienced technical
problems that affected up to 10 of the satellite's
transponders over several days. Arabsat, which owns the
satellite in question, say that the technical problems --
which affected approximately 50 video channels including the
VOA PNN service -- were likely the result of Iranian jamming.
Arabsat asserts that, when the VOA PNN channel was removed
from the transponder in question, the alleged jamming ceased.
(Note: VOA PNN was removed from the Arabsat satellite for 10
days, from September 6 to September 15. IBB officers note
that the new frequency from which VOA PNN is now being
broadcast on Arabsat is equally, if not more, susceptible to
GoI jamming. End Note.)



3. (C) IBB officers point out that, if these problems do
indeed constitute a jamming effort by the Iranian regime, it
is a new approach for the GoI. Rather than attempting to jam
the specific signals of VOA and other IBB video services, the
regime may be putting pressure on the operators of the
commercial satellites in question, i.e., by disrupting
multiple broadcasters' programming, the GoI hopes that
commercial considerations will force satellite operators to
remove VOA and other Farsi-language programming. IBB
officers emphasize that it is still too early to determine
categorically if the GoI is behind these disruptions.



4. (C) The apparent jamming of the Arabsat satellite may be
part of a concerted campaign by the Iranian authorities to
disrupt VOA PNN, BBC and other Farsi-language broadcasting
into Iran. GoI "downlink" jamming of such services increased
in mid-May and continues. In the aftermath of the June 12
elections in Iran, the GoI engaged in more invasive "uplink"
jamming for the first time since 2003, according to IBB
officers.



5. (C) The GoI's jamming peaked in the aftermath of the June
12 elections, when the regime sought to minimize
international coverage of the mass protests affecting Tehran
and other Iranian cities. The most significant uplink
jamming attack took place on June 19 when the Iranians
"spiked" IBB's MCPC (multiple channel per carrier)
transmitter on the Eutelsat Hotbird 8 commercial satellite in
an effort to disrupt VOA broadcasts. This attack disrupted
all IBB services bundled on IBB's Hotbird satellite MCPC
transmitter, affecting IBB broadcasting to several Middle
Eastern and African countries. IBB engineers in Kuwait,
Europe and the U.S. were eventually able to counter the
disruptions by moving the VOA broadcast from the Hotbird MCPC
bundle to another commercial satellite.



6. (C) Comment: Increased GoI jamming of VOA and other USG
Farsi-language services in recent months -- including the
apparent attempts to disrupt a large number of Arabsat
broadcasts -- highlights the acute sensitivities associated
with USG and other efforts to provide the Iranian people with
alternative sources of news and other information. End
Comment.

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For more reporting from Embassy Kuwait, visit:
visit Kuwait's Classified Website at:

http://www.intelink.sgov.gov/wiki/Portal:Kuwa it
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JONES