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U.S. targets Iranians blamed for blocking Internet

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WASHINGTON » The Obama administration has imposed financial sanctions against officials and government bodies in Iran that the U.S. blames for jamming satellite broadcasts and blocking Internet access for ordinary Iranians.

Today’s action is the first foreign policy announcement since President Barack Obama won re-election.

The State Department says four Iranian individuals and five organizations they hold blocked and are banned from traveling to the United States.

Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland says those targeted include Reza Taghipour, Iran’s minister of communication and information technology, and Iran’s Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance.

Nuland blamed Taghipour for ordering satellite broadcasts jammed and restricting Internet connectivity.

She said the culture ministry has closed newspapers and detained journalists.

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