Fars News Agency, an Iranian media outlet, says that it’s had its English-language .com domain blocked internationally under US sanctions.
In a statement posted to its .ir domain, which the news agency appears to be using as an alternative to the blocked .com, Fars News Agency said its international service provider had been ordered to cut off access to the Fars News Agency’s .com domain by the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) which has placed the news agency on its SDN (Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons) list.
FarsNews’s .com domain is registered with domain.com.
— Fars News Agency (@EnglishFars) January 25, 2020
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The SDN list names individuals, entities, and organizations that US citizens are prohibited from doing business with.
The blocking of Fars News Agency’s .com domain comes a few weeks after Facebook and Instagram started blocking posts that show support for the deceased Iranian terrorist and general Qassem Soleimani because of US sanctions. PayPal has also been accused of blocking payments related to the word “Iran” in recent weeks.
State-funded Iranian news outlet Press TV has also complained that its content has been blocked on YouTube and other social media sites in recent months.
Additionally, Iran has implemented several recent large scale internet shutdowns and censorship campaigns. In December, the government shut down the internet in the country in what appeared to be an attempt to quell and prevent anti-government protests.