Iran Alleges U.S. Seized State-Linked Media Sites Amid Heightened Tensions

Iran said Tuesday the U.S. government seized several state-linked news websites, which comes at a time of increased tensions between the two nations, the Associated Press reported.

U.S. authorities did not immediately acknowledge the action, and the circumstances of the seizures are not clear.

Meanwhile, the Islamic Republic's president-elect, judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi, said Monday in his first news conference that he will not meet with President Joe Biden. Raisi added that he has ruled out further negotiations with the West over his country's missile program and support for regional militias.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below:

Iranian President-Elect, Ebrahim Raisi
Iranian President-Elect Ebrahim Raisi holds a press conference Monday in Tehran. He said he will not meet with President Joe Biden. Majid Saeedi/Getty Images

Iran's state-run IRNA news agency identified a series of websites taken offline, saying they were seized by the U.S. Department of Justice.

The Iranian state-linked websites that abruptly went offline with what appeared to be U.S. seizure notices include state television's English-language arm Press TV, as well as the Yemeni Houthi rebels' Al-Masirah satellite news channel and Iranian state TV's Arabic-language channel, Al-Alam.

The notice said that the websites were seized "as part of law enforcement action" by the Bureau of Industry and Security, Office of Export Enforcement and the FBI.

Marzieh Hashemi, a prominent American-born anchorwoman for Press TV, told the AP that the channel was aware of the seizure but had no further information.

"We are just trying to figure out what this means," she said.

President-Elect Ebrahim Raisi News Conference
Iranian President-Elect Ebrahim Raisi during his Monday press conference, in which he ruled out further negotiations with the West over his country's missile program. Majid Saeedi/Getty Images