President Mohammad Khatami and Parliament Speaker Mehdi Karroubi in a directive have called for identifying and taking actions against those responsible for a reported project in Tehran to jam satellite broadcasts, IRNA reported from Tehran.
The Persian-language newspaper `Hambastegi' on Tuesday quoted MP Ali-Akbar Mousavi Khoeini, deputy chairman of Telecommunications Commission of the Parliament, as saying that Khatami and Karroubi had issued the directive after parliamentarians had discussed the matter with several ministerial officials in a joint meeting on Monday.
Khoeini said the participants in the meeting in a report were informed that a certain military organization is transmitting powerful signals from several of its bases in Tehran to disrupt satellite broadcasts beamed onto the city, adding that this is also carried out by a number of mobile stations installed in trucks.
"The officials also received a report by a Swiss-based expert of World Health Organization (WHO) -- who is a specialist in genetics -- pertaining to the harmful effects of such signals on citizens which includes infertility," Hambastegi quoted the MP as saying.
The Health Ministry and the Department of the Environment in separate reports had earlier voiced concerns over the activities of a certain military organization in transmitting signals to block satellites broadcasts over Tehran, stressing that the signals are harmful to citizens as well as to the environment.
Accordingly, Parliament's Commission of Industries on Monday held a meeting with representatives from several institutions to discuss the case.
Participants in the meeting included deputy ministers of defense, information, health, post, telegraph and telephone (PTT), and the deputy director of the Department of Environment.
"Deputy defense minister said at the meeting that if it is confirmed that a transgression has in fact taken place, the ministry would act against anyone found responsible in line with its duty of supervising the implementation of laws in armed forces," Khoeini said.
He further added that Masoud Davarinejad, the deputy PTT minister, had said at the meeting that the ministry had already identified the source of the signals, which on several occasions had disrupted air navigation systems in the country.
However, Khoeini added, the official had regretted that the PTT is unable to stop the organizations that are beaming the signals.
The MP further added that the commission had urged the ministries of PTT, defense and information to see to it that the practice is stopped at the earliest.
He added that the commission had also asked the Health Ministry and the Department of Environment to inform the parliament about the dangers and effects of the signals on citizens.
Meanwhile, the Persian-language `Nassim-e Saba' daily quoted Davarinejad as saying that the PTT Ministry had submitted a report on the possible locations of transmitters to the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) as a confidential document.
Still, he stressed that no confirmed data has yet been prepared on the degree the signals can harm the citizens given that the strength and the kind of dishes used to transmit them remain unknown.
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