At the request of Germany, the UK and France, whose TV channels including Deutsche Welle, the BBC and France 24 have been jammed by Teheran since last year, the ministers gathered in Brussels adopted a statement following a consensual discussion, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner told journalists.
"The European Union expresses its grave concern over measures taken by the Iranian authorities to prevent its citizens from freely communicating and receiving information through TV, radio satellite broadcasting and the Internet," the statement says.
In addition, it claims that the Iranian authorities regularly prevent their citizens from freely accessing, communicating and receiving information on the Internet, and restrict or block mobile telecommunications.
"Our protest is more political than real," Kouchner said, adding: "We are against Iran jamming our programmes. Are we in favour of jamming their programmes? No, we are not censors," the minister said.
The jamming of Western shows serves as a reminder of the not-so-distant past, when Communist countries jammed Munich-based US radio station 'Free Europe', which broadcast in the languages of the countries under Soviet domination. The novelty, however, is that this time around the jamming affects high-tech satellite broadcasting.
Almost 70 radio and television stations which transmit via the Eutelsat satellite to Iran were jammed on 11 February, the 31st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, Deutsche Welle reported.
"The EU stresses that freedom of expression throughout the world is a universal right which includes the right of individuals to seek, receive and impart information regardless of frontiers. Restrictions and limitations on the use of new technologies have emerged as a key challenge to the respect for human rights in many parts of the world, undermining the potential the technologies have to promote freedom of expression," the declaration says.
Kouchner expressed hope that the protest would be heard by the Iranian authorities. Protest movements in Iran are still strong, if not even stronger that during the anti-government protests which took place after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's disputed re-election last June, underlined the French minister.