Jun 23, 2021 - Technology

DOJ seizes 36 U.S. website domains for Iranian government disinformation

Iranian President-Elect Ebrahim Raisi holds a press conference at Shahid Beheshti conference hall on June 21, 2021 in Tehran, Iran.
Iran's President-Elect Ebrahim Raisi holds a press conference at Shahid Beheshti conference hall in Tehran on Monday. Photo: Majid Saeedi/Getty Images

American officials seized 36 news website domains linked to Iran's government for spreading disinformation as part of a propaganda campaign, the Department of Justice said Tuesday.

Why it matters: The action comes at a time of heightened tension between the two countries, with Iran's hardline President-elect Ebrahim Raisi on Monday ruling out negotiating over missiles or meeting with President Biden as the two nations hold talks on returning Tehran to the 2015 nuclear deal.

Driving the news: The DOJ said in an emailed statement it took action against 33 websites used by the Iranian Islamic Radio and Television Union and three others operated by the Iran-backed Kataib Hezbollah militia.

  • The domains are owned by American companies, but the sites didn't obtain licenses from the U.S. government, "in violation of U.S. sanctions," according to the Justice Department.
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