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JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) _ The U.S. government is concerned that a television channel backed by the Hezbollah militant group is using an Indonesian satellite to broadcast to the Asia-Pacific region, an American Embassy spokesman said Thursday.

Al-Manar TV has rented Indonesia's Palapa C2 satellite through operator PT Indosat on a contract due to expire in April 2011, according to Indosat spokeswoman Adita Irawati.

The U.S. government declared Al-Manar a "terrorist entity" in 2006.

"Al-Manar and its partners and affiliates form a recognized arm of Hezbollah," said Tristram Perry, a public diplomacy officer at the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta.

Perry said the station incites violence and hatred. The U.S. government has informally "shared concerns" with authorities in Jakarta about Al-Manar broadcasting from Indonesia, home to the world's largest Muslim population, he said.

Those concerns were dismissed by Communication and Information Minister Muhammad Nuh, who called the broadcasts "a pure business to business deal." He noted that stations such as the BBC also use the satellite. The government holds about 14 percent of Indosat's shares and has a veto right over strategic decisions.

"The U.S. government has no right to intervene in Indosat's affairs," Nuh said. "It is up to Indosat."

Irawati said the deal would only end if the government ordered its cancellation. "We will follow whatever the regulator decides," she said.

The Indonesian satellite is used to beam Al-Manar's often anti-Israeli and anti-American programs to China, Southeast Asia and Australia.

In January, a Thai satellite company stopped airing broadcasts of the Middle East-based television channel after learning it was tied to the Shiite militant group Hezbollah.

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