US condemns 'unacceptable' treatment of news media in Iran

US condemns 'unacceptable' treatment of news media in Iran
© Getty

The State Department on Thursday called the Iranian government’s treatment of the news media “unacceptable,” noting reports that journalists have been jailed and harassed.

The State Department cited a United Nations Human Rights Council report released earlier this week on Iran that indicated journalists there have been harassed, arbitrarily detained, banned from traveling and monitored by intelligence operatives. 

The report also references an injunction by a Tehran court that prohibits 152 people affiliated with the Persian Service of the BBC from making financial transactions in Iran. The court order cited “conspiracy against national security,” according to the U.N. report. 

ADVERTISEMENT

“The United States notes with concern the grave conditions facing the press in Iran as detailed in the U.N. Special Rapporteur’s report,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.

The already hostile relationship between the U.S. and Iran has grown even more tense with President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump campaign buys full page ads in Miami newspapers ahead of Dem debates Trump administration's 'forced diplomacy' with Iran isn't working Roy Moore trails Republican field in Alabama MORE's recent firing of Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump targets Iran with new sanctions Leaked Trump transition vetting documents show numerous officials with 'red flags': Axios Bolton says Russia, China seeking to promote discord in Trump administration MORE. Trump cited a difference in opinion on the Iran nuclear deal when explaining the firing.

Iran's deputy foreign minister responded Wednesday by saying Trump's decision to fire Tillerson underscored the president's desire to scrap the nuclear deal with Iran.

The U.S. government earlier this year voiced support for citizens protesting against the Iranian government.