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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.

Go deeper

Iran's president-elect says he won't meet with Biden

Photo: Meghdad Madadi ATPImages/Getty Images

Iran's new President-elect Ebrahim Raisi said Monday he is not willing to meet President Joe Biden, AP reports.

The big picture: Raisi's election has come as nations are negotiating a potential return to the 2015 nuclear deal, and has placed "hard-liners firmly in control across the government," writes AP.

Jun 21, 2021 - World

What Iran's election means for the nuclear deal

Raisi holds a press conference in Tehran. Photo: Ali Mohammadi/Bloomberg via Getty

The election of conservative cleric Ebrahim Raisi as Iran’s next president injects new urgency into the efforts to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, but could preclude the possibility of a “longer and stronger” agreement.

Why it matters: President Biden hopes to put Iran’s nuclear program “back in a box” by salvaging the previous deal and then negotiate a follow-on accord to extend the deal’s timelines and cover Iran’s missile program and other issues.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Jun 21, 2021 - Podcasts

Iran's future under a new president

Iran this past weekend elected a new president, Ebrahim Raisi, a hard-liner whose political rivals weren’t even allowed on the ballot — and who has been sanctioned by the U.S. for human rights abuses.

Axios Re:Cap talks with Axios World editor David Lawler about what Raisi’s election means for Iran’s people, who are facing economic hardship and a raging pandemic, and what it means for the nuclear deal signed by President Obama and scrapped by President Trump.