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Posted July 17, 2003 by publisher in Castro's Cuba

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WASHINGTON | Transmitters in Cuba have been jamming U.S. government and private satellite television broadcasts aimed at the opposition in Iran, government and company statements said on Wednesday.

‘‘It is believed that Iran has commissioned jammers in Cuba because of their mutually anti-American regime,’’ said the private Iranian broadcaster NITV, which broadcasts by satellite to Iran from the United States.

The government-funded Broadcasting Board of Governors, which also broadcasts by satellite to Iran, said the jamming began at about the same time as it started a daily news program for the Iranian audience on July 6.

“The best information of the service provider for transmission of televised news programming is that the source of jamming is located near Havana, Cuba,’’ the board said in a resolution asking the Bush administration to act.

NITV said the jamming began on July 5 when an unfamiliar signal appeared on the satellite transponder it uses. It asked a specialist company, TLS Inc., to find the source.

‘‘TLS investigations concluded an ellipse of the most probable location of the source of the interference, which it identified as being in the vicinity of Havana,’’ the company said in a statement posted on its Web site.

The Broadcasting Board of Governors said the jamming violated the U.N. human rights declaration and urged the State Department and the Federal Communications Commission to protest formally to Cuba.

State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said: ‘‘We are looking into the source of interference of these broadcasts and we’ll be taking up with the Cubans the question of whether or not this interference is coming from Cuba. I don’t think we’ve done so at this point.’’

The jamming coincided with opposition preparations for protests planned for July 9, the fourth anniversary of a raid by vigilantes on a Tehran University dormiyory.

Some protests took place on July 9 but they were much smaller than the opposition and their supporters in the United States had hoped.

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