Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad officially launched HispanTV this week, a Spanish satellite television channel that will broadcast news, documentaries, and Iranian films 24 hours a day via cable or Internet, allowing viewers to watch from televisions, mobile phones, and computers. The channel, previously on a 16-hour daily trial since October, is the first of its kind to be launched from the Middle East targeting the world’s Spanish-speaking people. The launch follows Ahmadinejad’s recent visit to Latin America in January where he was received by Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Ecuador in an effort to strengthen regional ties.
Referring to the West in his speech at the channel’s inauguration ceremony in Tehran, Ahmadinejad said, “The new channel will limit the ground from supremacy of dominance seekers,” and that, “Under the current circumstances in the world, a selfish and bullying minority has attempted to impose its will on the entire world. The nations are in need of consultations and exchange of views to safeguard their fundamental right.”
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
President Ahmadinejad went on to express that all peoples and nations require peace, security, freedom, progress, and welfare. It is his desire, so he says, for mass media to foster dialogue between justice and freedom seekers as well as scholars and artists. These words are ironic coming from a president whose government restricts its people’s acquisition of knowledge by filtering or blocking over 5 million websites, invests its economic wealth in patronage politics and terrorist organizations rather than human capital or infrastructure, and has been marked as a prominent human rights transgressor by United Nations member states.
Whether Iran’s interest in the region is to alleviate economic pressure through improving trade relations in light of Western economic sanctions, inflame anti-U.S. sentiments, or aid Hezbollah — its proxy terrorist organization with known involvement in South America’s cocaine trade — one thing remains certain: There is no comfort in Iran’s anti-Western, anti-modern influence in America’s backyard.