The BBC has suggested that a cyberattack against it on March 1 was part of Iranian efforts to disrupt the BBC's Persian Service, which along with other foreign broadcasters has long proved an irritant to the clerically dominated regime.
The BBC reports that its director general, Mark Thompson, plans to level the charges against Iran in an upcoming speech to Britain's Royal Television Society.
In an advance extract from the speech, Thompson reportedly says the Internet attack coincided with efforts to jam two of the BBC Persian Service's satellite feeds into Iran.
Thompson's speech says the coincidence of the attacks is "self-evidently suspicious."
Last month, Thompson accused Iran of intimidating Persian service workers.
The nongovernmental group Reporters Without Borders -- which named Iran as an "enemy of the Internet" earlier this week -- has complained about the Iran's so-called cyber army, created by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) in 2010.
Iranian authorities block broadcasts and otherwise target the operations of foreign broadcasters including BBC, Germany's Deutsche Welle, and U.S. broadcasters RFE/RL and Voice of America.
Tehran also has waged a long-running campaign against the use of satellite TV dishes, although such receivers remain hugely popular among Iranians.
Copyright (c) 2012 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org
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