Iran curbs internet before possible new protests: reports

Iran’s authorities have restricted mobile internet access in several provinces, an Iranian news agency reported on Wednesday, a day before new protests were expected to kick off following calls for demonstrations on social media.

Social media posts, along with some relatives of people killed in unrest last month, have called for renewed protests and for ceremonies to commemorate the dead to be held on Thursday.

State media, meanwhile, said intelligence ministry agents had seized a cache of 126 mostly U.S.-made guns smuggled to the central city of Isfahan from abroad.

The protests were initially sparked in November by hikes in gasoline prices but demonstrators quickly expanded their demands to cover calls for more political freedom and other issues.

The government, which launched the bloodiest crackdown on demonstrators in the 40-year history of the Islamic Republic, blamed foreign enemies for stoking tensions.

An official denied any order by the authorities to block the internet, which was shutdown for about a week in the November unrest. A news agency also cited mobile operators saying their services had not been disrupted.

The semi-official news agency ILNA quoted an informed source at the Communications and Information Technology Ministry as saying mobile internet access to overseas sites was blocked by “security authorities” in Alborz, Kurdestan and Zanjan provinces in central and western Iran and Fars in the south.

“According to this source, it is possible that more provinces will be affected by the shutdown of mobile international connectivity,” ILNA said.

Internet blockage observatory NetBlocks said on Twitter: “Confirmed: Evidence of mobile internet disruption in parts of #Iran …real-time network data show two distinct drops in connectivity this morning amid reports of regional outages; incident ongoing.”

The shutdown appeared to be spreading.

“I just checked myself and asked a friend, and the internet is off on our mobiles,” a resident in Ahvaz, the capital of the oil producing Khuzestan province, told Reuters.

But a communications ministry spokesman denied there was an order to shut down the internet. “No such order has been issued by the judiciary or other relevant authorities. The Fake News are at work,” Jamal Hadian said in a Twitter post.

Iran’s three mobile operators also denied experiencing any internet disruptions, the YJC news agency reported.

In Alborz province, one of the areas affected by the shutdown, authorities this week arrested the parents of a young man who was shot dead during the protests, after pressuring them to call off a commemoration for their son scheduled for Thursday, citing concerns it could create unrest.

The weapons seized in Isfahan included assault rifles, handguns and pellet guns, the state news agency IRNA said. “Most of the weapons carry USA badges and are American-made,” it added.

The internet blockage made it difficult for protesters to post videos on social media to generate support and also to obtain reliable reports on the extent of the unrest.

Security forces have been on alert for any events that could spark more unrest after 1,500 people were killed in less than two weeks after protests erupted on Nov. 15, according to a Reuters report.

That figure is much higher than estimates by international human rights groups and was also dismissed as “fake news” by a spokesman for Iran’s top state security body.

The United States imposed sanctions on Iran’s communications minister last month for his role in “widescale internet censorship,” a reference to the nationwide shutdown.

Iran has blamed “thugs” linked to exiles and foreign foes – the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia – for stirring up unrest through social media.

During the protests, hundreds of banks and public buildings were attacked and damaged.

(Reporting by Dubai newsroom; Editing by Gareth Jones and Edmund Blair, Kirsten Donovan)

Responses

  1. Remember that the freedom-squelching practices of the mullahs are now here in the US. Same for Facebook, etc. If you don’t believe they compile your info and censor content you are just stupid.

    Thanks Google, or should I say “Ni how ma?” to the PRC’s partner in squelching freedom of speech? For profit.

    “Don’t be evil.” is a tagline right out of any prison. After all, they are filled with innocent people who never did a wrong. Evil is completely subjective, as any Nuremburg convict can tell you.

  2. “there is one of those ism’s that you love. You are a liar which is also proof that you are one of the ism’s.” The Real Bob

    I am confused, The Real Bob.

    Do you mean liarism? That’s a new one on me. With probably 15,000 lies under his belt, now, maybe your Dear Leader could fill that roll.

  3. Hey confuction, you and syphilis should get married as you are 2 peas in a pod (excuse me for slandering peas). You can stroke each others lies to make you feel good. A perfect match, a pair of liars.

  4. The only confusion is on your part confuction. You and your party ARE the party of facists, communists and dictators of ALL kinds (hitler, mao, stalin, pol pot, amin, etc). You are a 100% liar in trying to put that on the conservatives a**hole. You are the party of nazis and communists and history proves that. All these governments have one thing in common, SOCALISM. Oops, there is one of those ism’s that you love. You are a liar which is also proof that you are one of the ism’s..

    1. I am confused, The Real Bob.

      Do you mean liarism? That’s a new one on me. With probably 15,000 lies under his belt, now, maybe your Dear Leader could fill that roll.

  5. You are confusing me with your confusion, Confused James.

    ““Fascism” as defined in the real World is: “A Government led by a dictator (ex: Socialist Warren, Commie Bernie , et al) having complete POWER (and CONTROL)” Confused James

    Tell me EXACTLY when Senators Sanders and/or Warren EVER had dictatorial powers with “complete control”? When? You may be IMPLYING that that is what they WOULD do if either one got elected, but that is only your fear not based on any sort of reality. You are scared of your own shadow, though.

    Remember that the only thing stopping this fascistic administration from gaining complete dictatorial control over us now is our Constitution and a tiny bit of resistance because of our laws, but the American Fascist Party are working on those. You just won’t recognize that danger.

  6. “So, you do agree you’re a Fascist/Socialist/Communist/Nazi wannabe. Obvious!” Confused James

    You are confused, Confused James, if you think playing word games with me will ever work.

  7. As fascists, don’t think for a second that King Donald The Loser wouldn’t tell Ajit Pai to do exactly the same thing that Iran and Pakistan are doing.

    1. So, you do agree you’re a Fascist/Socialist/Communist/Nazi wannabe. Obvious!

  8. Confused James perfectly described, below, the current American Fascist Party. Thank you.

    1. You certainly continue to display a complete lack of having any knowledge based in an EDUCATION; but rely on twisting FACTS to suit the usual and expected Socialist, anti-American narrative. Even now, you exhibit your illiteracy by actually agreeing with the true and totally opposite definition of a word you toss around haphazardly to denigrate the Republican Party, its’ AMERICAN members, my AMERICAN President simply to impress your ilk. I’m never impressed by ignoramuses, liars or anti-Americans as you should be well aware of by now. Grow UP, sonny boy (or girlie), get an EDUCATION in HOW to think for yourself. It’ll serve you better than being INDOCTRINATED and being programmed WHAT to think.

    2. Join the discussion…You have just shown everyone exactly who you are and what you believe confuction. Indeed you are part of the facism/communism that has invaded our nation by the demonrat party. As James said, you have a complete lack of knowledge of facts and, as all good dictator wannabes, can change the meaning of words to support your communist ideals. What a total worthless human? being you are.

  9. Of course they did after all a “thinking people” might just throw a worthless, human rights abusing government out, and we can’t have that now can we? Smh

  10. “Fascism” as defined in the real World is: “A Government led by a dictator (ex: Socialist Warren, Commie Bernie , et al) having complete POWER (and CONTROL), forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry and commerce (“Green Nutty Deal”, “Medicare for All”), etc. and emphasizing an aggressive Nationalism and Racism.

    I’m certain that political philosophy explains why between 100,000,000 and 160,000,000 persons have been murdered or starved to death between 1945 and in present day Venezuela under Socialist and Communist dictatorships.

    1. You are confusing me with your confusion, Confused James.

      ““Fascism” as defined in the real World is: “A Government led by a dictator (ex: Socialist Warren, Commie Bernie , et al) having complete POWER (and CONTROL)” Confused James

      Tell me EXACTLY when Senators Sanders and/or Warren EVER had dictatorial powers with “complete control”? When? You may be IMPLYING that that is what they WOULD do if either one got elected, but that is only your fear not based on any sort of reality. You are scared of your own shadow, though.

      Remember that the only thing stopping this fascistic administration from gaining complete dictatorial control over us now is our Constitution and a tiny bit of resistance because of our laws, but the American Fascist Party are working on those. You just won’t recognize that danger.

      1. Join the discussion…You are a lying POS!!!!!!! Put you head back up your ass where it belongs.

  11. I am seeing more and more slandering of the Republican Party by the resident Village Idiot in which he/she/it refers to the GOP as a “Fascist Party”. For clarification and identification, numerous REAL dictionaries – not written by” indoctrinated Socialist puppets – define “Fascism” as a noun in the following manner: “Fascism is: authoritarianism, totalitarianism, dictatorship, despotism, autocracy, absolute rule, Nazism, xenophobia, racism, anti-Semitism, Chauvinism, Jingoism, neo-Fascism, Francoism and Falcanism.”

    In short, “Fascism” is defined as: “authoritative, oppressive, intolerant of the views of others and/or common, established practices” – precisely the goal of those Socialist idiots whose wish is to eventually become a Communist or a Marxist (loser).

    Fixed it for the uneducated truth haters.

    1. Confused James perfectly described the current American Fascist Party. Thank you.

      1. Join the discussion…Yea confuction, it perfectly describes your party.

  12. Screw, you do understand that Republican federal employees are offered the SAME 72% employer paid healthcare as Democrat, Independent and Democratic Socialist federal employees? So Mitch McConnell and Matt Gaetz’s healthcare employer subsidy is the same as Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi and Bernie Sanders’. 72% is the same employer paid heathcare as MOST U.S.employer plans of > 50 employees. The federal employees’ subsidies are for the Gold policies, NOT the Cadilliac policies. Yes, in Trumpism you apparently get to makeup your own facts, i.e., your earlier insistence that Lt Col. Vindman was RETIRED military if he was serving on Trump’s National Security team, BUT that only works when you stay in Trump World. If you wander into reality, your made-up assertions are going to be called out.

    1. Yawn I don’t even bother fully reading your biased BS anymore it’s all the same lies and wild leaps.

  13. A measure of dementedness: have ANY of those who support Comrade Bernie or Lyin’ Liz noticed THEY ARE WEALTHY and HAVE THEIR DELUXE HEALTHCARE PAID FOR BY TAX DOLLARS?

    Yet the taxes they propose SOMEHOW leave them out?

    Just saying there’s a willful ignorance/stupidity practiced by the Left. Or maybe they are simply stupid. Also selfish.

    Notice how neither Bernie nor Liz mentions giving a penny of their wealth or benefits to help those they “claim” to care about? That’s for “other” people.

    Socialism=hypocrisy and selfishness.

    1. Give away your wealth and show them how it is done first. Go on, do it.

  14. The Iranian gov’t has such wonderful leadership. Always thinking about their people, just as socialist leaders would (while giving themselves ALL the goodies). I’m looking at you Sitting Paleface and Comrade Bernie, little Rocket Boy, Maduro, and the Castros.

    1. All those words and you didn’t say anything. So strange.

  15. As fascists, don’t think for a second that King Donald The Loser wouldn’t tell Ajit Pai to do exactly the same thing.

    1. LOL…The Trumpers were all in in the State Media, but they lost them when they confiscated the guns.

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