- The Washington Times - Monday, August 25, 2003


Cuba has told the United States that an Iranian diplomatic facility in or near Havana was the source of the jamming that disrupted U.S. Farsi-language satellite broadcasts to Iran last month, the State Department said.

And, in an unusual display of cooperation between the Cold War enemies, Havana appears to have acted on pledges to halt the interference, which had prompted a formal protest from Washington.

“It has ceased,” said Jo-Anne Prokopowicz, a department spokeswoman.

After denying responsibility for the jamming but pledging to investigate the U.S. complaints in mid-July, Cuba told the United States that it had found the source, she said.

“Cuba informed us on August 3 that they had located the source of the interference and had taken action to stop it.” Miss Prokopowicz said.

“The government of Cuba informed us that the interference was coming from an Iranian diplomatic facility,” she said. “We will be following this up with Iran.”

On July 15, the U.S. government-affiliated Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) accused Cuba of jamming its programming, as well as that of private U.S.-based Iranian opposition satellite television stations, to Iran.

The jamming, which affected all Farsi-language broadcasts carried by the Loral Skynet satellite, became pronounced amid growing protests in Iran against the Tehran government.

Iran said at the time that the U.S. broadcasts into the country were interference in its internal affairs and accused the U.S.-based Iranian opposition of inflaming the protests.

Shortly after the BBG complaint, which was accompanied by request for a formal diplomatic protest about the jamming, the State Department said the interference appeared to be emanating from Cuba, but could not say exactly who was behind it.

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