Iran: crackdown on satellite dishes tightens
October 11th, 2011 - 11:02 UTC
by Andy Sennitt.

The chief of Iran’s security forces has announced that police officers are authorized to enter private residences to confiscate satellite dishes, even as Tehran’s police commissioner declared that authorities will press on with their plan to seize every dish.

Tehran Police Chief Hossein Sajedinia said police are confiscating dishes installed in plain view but with judicial warrants they can also enter homes to search for hidden dishes. He added: “Police will primarily give warning to the satellite dish owners and then the building administrators will be informed. Sometimes they tell us that the unit owners are travelling, and then the police will take the necessary actions.”

The police chief said the plan is not meant to be carried out with “hostility” but he emphasized that nothing will halt its completion. He went on to say that the national broadcaster Seda va Sima must do its part by producing more varied and engaging programs to attract viewers.

Eyewitnesses have reported that security officers in various cities have entered homes without warrants to seize dishes. A judiciary spokesman has said the use of satellite equipment is illegal, and officials do not require warrants to investigate evident cases of illegality.