LONDON (Agencies) - Britain considered taking punitive action against the London headquarters of Irans English-language state broadcaster earlier this year after Iran jammed the signals of the BBCs Persian TV service (PTV), according to a US state department document released by WikiLeaks. The Foreign Office told the US embassy official who deals with Iran in February that it was exploring ways to limit the operations of Press TV which operates a large bureau (over 80 staff) in London. Press TV is an arm of the Iranian state broadcaster, IRIB. Its main foreign bureau is in northwest London. Presenters include the former Labour and Respect MP George Galloway, whose programme was recently criticised by Ofcom for breaching impartiality rules, and the journalist Yvonne Ridley. No steps were taken at the time because of legal difficulties, but a British official said a case could be made in future if new sanctions were imposed on Iran, the secret US cable reported. New sanctions were imposed by both the UN Security Council and the EU in the summer, but no action has been taken against the broadcaster. The action was considered after repeated electronic jamming of the BBCs PTV and the Voice of Americas Persian service. It was blamed on the Iranian government. Eutelsat, the owner of the Hotbird satellite, decided after months of jamming to drop PTV from the satellite because of complaints from other commercial broadcasters that their programmes were being affected as well. Eutelsat gave PTV a slot on another satellite that did not carry many of the most popular channels and had limited reach. Britain urged the US to join it and France in lobbying the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), which regulates satellite transmissions, against the Iranian government, while also acknowledging that it had no enforcement authority. It was therefore looking at other ways to address the issue ... and exploring ways to limit the operations of the IRIBs Press TV service. The difficulty, the cable continued, was that UK law sets a very high standard for denying licences to broadcasters. Licences can only be denied in cases where national security is threatened, or if granting a licence would be contrary to Britains obligations under international law. Currently neither of these standards can be met with respect to Press TV, but if further sanctions are imposed on Iran in the coming months a case may be able to be made on the second criterion.