Reporting by PMOI/MEK
Iran, December 10, 2019—Iranian regime President Hassan Rouhani is emphasizing on shutting down and blocking access to the internet for the Iranian people under the pretext of launching the regime’s intranet, known as the National Information Network. This notion is already causing various figures inside the regime to voice warnings and concerns, as they describe such a measure as “dangerous,” “threatening” and “a shock more severe than the gasoline price hike.”
“We will strengthen the National Information Network to such an extent that people will not need the foreign internet network for their civil needs. Recently, the leader has issued orders in this regard that God willing we will pursue in the Supreme Cyberspace Council,” Rouhani said in the regime’s Majlis (parliament) on Sunday, December 8.
"... the continuation of the uprising despite a brutal crackdown by Iranian security forces and a near-total internet blackout have served as a terrifying reality check for the regime’s authorities..."#Iran#IranProtestshttps://t.co/gyKlMMopi6— People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) (@Mojahedineng) December 9, 2019
The state-run Ebtekar daily wrote, “The notion of permanently cutting off access to the global internet based on Rouhani’s remarks has caused tensions and concerns among the public. Will such a decision in the current circumstances not result in social consequences? Even emphasizing on developing the National Information Network does not mean cutting off access to the internet has not been able to decrease the concerns voiced on social media platforms. This tension can be… dangerous… We hope that this decision of launching the National Information Network does not take place in sudden fashion and overnight, as we witnessed in the gasoline price hike decision. In the current circumstances, when the society is under sensitive tensions, there should not be a bigger shock imposed on the people. The reason is… it should not provoke further protests, the lives of innocent people can be lost, public property can be destroyed…”
This newspaper also voiced warning over the escalating trend of protests from 1994 to November 2019. “This shows the tensions in our society. A society that no longer has the tolerance for further shocks. With such a decision things may get out of control… If the National Information Network results in the shutdown of the global internet, it will have the same fate as satellite dishes in Iran.”
This is a reference to measures carried out by the Iranian regime to round up satellite dishes across Iran, which has only encouraged more and more people to purchase such equipment and bypass the regime’s various restrictions in this regard.
The state-run Hamdeli daily wrote, “Rouhani’s pledge to expand the National Information Network has increased concerns over a possible internet shutdown. They are fast heading towards an unknown direction and officially sending a threatening message to the people.”
The Jahan-e Sanat daily wrote, “If Rouhani shuts down the global internet, it will destroy all internet-based occupations in a domino fashion… The important question is will the people and the private sector tolerate the internet shutdown?”
A recent state TV program acknowledged the fact that the recent internet shutdown in Iran was to keep a lid on news of the November uprising and the regime’s crimes. “With riots increasing, through a four-day process, the internet across the country was restricted and finally shutdown. Prior to that, phots and video footage of the [uprising] and even physical clashes were being provided to foreign media outlets and Iran’s sworn enemies.”