US takes down Iran-linked news sites, alleges disinformation

International

FILE – This Monday, June 21, 2021 photo shows Iran’s new President-elect Ebrahim Raisi during a news conference in Tehran, Iran. Iran said Tuesday, June 22, that several state-linked news websites have been seized by the U.S. government under unclear circumstances. While there was no immediate acknowledgement of the seizures from American authorities, it comes amid the wider heightened tensions between the U.S. and Iran over Tehran’s now-tattered nuclear deal with world powers. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, File)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – American authorities have seized a range of Iran’s state-linked news websites they accuse of spreading “disinformation.”

The move Tuesday appears to be a far-reaching crackdown on Iranian media amid heightened tensions between the two countries.

The Justice Department said 33 of the seized websites were used by the Iranian Islamic Radio and Television Union, which was singled out by the U.S. government last October for what officials described as efforts to spread disinformation and sow discord among American voters ahead of the 2020 presidential election.

The takedowns come as world powers scramble to resurrect Tehran’s tattered 2015 nuclear deal.

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