Iran to unblock internet once 'abuse' stops: government

Wednesday, 20 Nov, 2019

Government spokesman Ali Rabiei said "the internet will come back gradually in some provinces where there are assurances the internet will not be abused".

Now anger has resurfaced over the impact of renewed U.S. sanctions and the government's failed promises of jobs and investment.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif rejected a statement of support for the protests by the administration of US President Donald Trump, which has dropped out of an global nuclear deal with Iran and reinstated economic sanctions.

Babak Taghvaee, a defence analyst and historian who is not based in Iran, told TechCrunch: "Internet is completely shut-down and I can't communicate [with] anyone..."

"The internet is an outlet for people to democratically express their views, and if they can't do this, there's actually a risk that these protests could become more violent", Tolker said.

It's scary when you see what's happening in #iran. "People are going to start losing their businesses because they rely on connectivity", he warned. The United Nations called for restraint and said it believes the extent of civilian casualties is "clearly very serious".

Amnesty also urged Iranian authorities to "lift the near-total block on internet access created to restrict the flow of information about the crackdown to the outside world".

One of those killed was named as Morteza Ebrahimi, a Revolutionary Guards commander and father of a newborn child, while the others were members of the Basij militia, a pro-regime volunteer force.

Some officials and insiders said the establishment would eventually gain from the turmoil by securing support at parliamentary elections in February.

Iranian authorities have not offered a definitive account of how many people have been injured or killed in the protests.

Amnesty claimed it collected its figures from interviewing journalists and human rights activists, then cross-checked the main points. He added that the government's move to increase the gasoline prices would be beneficial to the Iranian people, particularly those who are going through economic hardships. "We were poor already, and this decision will make us poorer", said a Kurdish taxi driver who participated in blocking a road in the western city of Sanandaj over the weekend.

Automobile transportation is of high significance in the Iranian economy and the price hike will immediately lead to increase in prices of all products, including food. Protesters angered by Iran raising government-set gasoline prices by 50% blocked traffic in major cities and occasionally clashed with police Saturday after a night of demonstrations punctuated by gunfire.

Meanwhile, the hard-line Kayhan newspaper reported that the judiciary was considering "execution by hanging for the riot leaders a definite punishment".

Foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi described Mr Pompeo's remark as "hypocritical" because Iran's economy had been crippled by sanctions reimposed by President Donald Trump previous year in an attempt to force it to negotiate a new nuclear deal with world powers.

The country's state television reports the President blaming opponents and foreign enemies for the unrest and that the recent price hike will prevent "fuel smugglers" from exporting Iran's oil to neighboring countries.