June 10, 2012 09.39 Europe/London By Robert Briel
The state of Bahrain has decided to quit Arabsat in protest at Iran channels being broadcast over the Badr satellite system.
Instead, the Bahrain based TV Bouquet has now switched to the privately owned Noorsat satellite system.
Bahrain’s state news agency BNA reported the country’s Information Affairs Authority (IAA) criticised Arabsat for failing to heed repeated requests “to take an official measure” against Iranian channels which also broadcast on Arabsat.
These channels, it said, were waging a “hostile media campaign” against Bahrain and Saudi Arabia “to incite sectarianism and shake security and stability,” in the Sunni-ruled kingdoms.
In a statement, Arabsat said the following “The debate has developed in some websites and reached a far point of unreality, and has imposed Arabsat in political and religious debates that Arabsat doesn’t have anything to do with it. “
According to Arabsat, the commercial contract for leasing satellite capacity by the Iranian Space Agency on Badr – 5 was signed five years ago in 2007. The footprint is intended to cover just Iran and not the Arabian world in general.
The Al-Alam channel, which is the subject of the main objection by Bahrain, has stopped over Arabsat covering the Arab territories for more than two years , but continued to be broadcasted on Nilesat orbital location to the entire Arab world, as well as on Eutelsat.
Arabsat also said that it “reached an agreement with the Iranian side to stop the broadcast of Al-Alam channel on the Iranian bouquet.”
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