U.S. Seizes Internet Domains Tied to Iran’s Government

The Iranian government-run website presstv.com was seized by U.S. authorities on Tuesday. Tehran has condemned previous U.S. seizures of websites as unlawful.



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WASHINGTON—More than 30 web domains linked to the Iranian regime were seized by U.S. agencies on Tuesday, a U.S. government official said.

The U.S. seized sites operated by government-run PressTV as well as social media channels affiliated with Iran-backed militias in Iraq. The seizures come as the Biden administration is in the midst of negotiations over Tehran’s nuclear program and follow the election of a new president who has rebuffed calls from Washington to curb its support for proxies fighting across the region.

Visitors to the affected websites were greeted with a banner that said the domains had been seized by the U.S. government as part of enforcement action taken by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security.

Iran’s mission to the United Nations didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment, but Tehran’s government has condemned previous seizures of Iranian websites as unlawful and part of an influence campaign against Iran.

The seizure notice cites several legal justifications for the action, including civil and criminal forfeiture laws, as well as the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, which grants the president the power to regulate international commerce in response to threats to U.S. security.

Write to Byron Tau at [email protected] and Ian Talley at [email protected]

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