Report prepared by PMOI/MEK staff writer
5 May 2018-- Rahimi Jahan Abadi, a member of the Iranian parliament’s Legal and Judicial Commission, acknowledged the regime’s failure in censoring Telegram, a popular messaging application used by over 40 million people across the country. His remarks also shed light on the crisis and tensions this ongoing issue is causing inside the Iranian regime’s ranks and files.
“If we block Telegram and people start using another foreign-based messaging app, what do we do then? … We can’t block all the world’s messengers. At the end of the day, we’ll be forced to cut-off electricity all together… The world’s communications systems are too advanced and widespread for us to be able to cut-off people’s access to messenger app servers…
“By blocking Telegram we have pushed the people towards American anti-filtering software. This is not logical… In fact, when a software like Telegram is blocked, controlling the status quo afterward becomes even more difficult because people will then be seeking a variety of different communications channels… Controlling a group is far easier when their activities are overt in comparison to when they go underground,” he said.
This Iranian MP concluded that fear of a new surge in protests is behind the regime’s concerns over Telegram. He went on to stress the fact that people are protesting across the country not because of Telegram, but in more rooted issues.
“Telegram had a role in the late 2017/early 2018 events, yet the streets, squares, telephones and … were all also involved. We can’t go on to close all the streets and squares… We must uproot the problems that caused the recent unrest,” he said.