The Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees the Voice of America and other U.S.-funded international broadcasters, has joined European public media outlets in condemning the jamming of satellite signals across the Middle East and Europe.
BBG Director Richard Lobo said in a statement Friday that the jamming of U.S. satellite signals and those of other broadcasters is a "blatant violation of international regulations." He added that the deliberate interference of news and information programs in countries with restrictive media denies millions of people access to information.
Eutelsat, a French-based satellite provider for VOA and the BBC, confirmed that broadcasts from several international broadcasters were jammed this week by interfering signals coming from Syria.
Deutsche Welle, a German state broadcaster that transmits Arabic-language programs via satellite to the Middle East, says Iran is behind the jamming efforts.
Many programs have been impacted, including some of VOA's foreign-language services and BBC television and radio services in English and Arabic.
Eutelsat, a major satellite operator, beams more than 4,250 television channels to more than 200 million cable and satellite homes in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Transmitting an unauthorized signal on the same frequency as a valid program, and aimed directly at the satellite, can "jam" the program and block it from all viewers.
Both VOA and the BBC have experienced disruptions in recent years due to jamming that primarily was traced to Iran, which supports the embattled Damascus regime of President Bashar al-Assad. The BBC has also condemned the jamming.
On Monday, Eutelsat stopped relaying Iranian state television channels by satellite after the European Union tightened sanctions against Tehran's controversial nuclear program.