MPs urge ICT minister to fully restore Tehran’s internet access

November 26, 2019 - 18:50

TEHRAN – A number of Iranian lawmakers have called on Minister of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi to restore Tehran’s access to the internet through mobile data networks.

In a letter to Azari Jahromi on Tuesday, Tehran’s representatives in the parliament said the continuation of limits on internet access has imposed huge losses on the country’s economy and educational and research centers, according to Mehr.

“Now that peace has been restored with the clever cooperation of the wise Iranian people especially in Tehran, most people, including academics, businesspeople and entrepreneurs, expect fast restoration of access to the internet through mobile data networks in Tehran province,” the lawmakers wrote.

Earlier this month, protests erupted in some cities in Iran against increasing gasoline price. In certain cases, the protests turned violent as some rioters clashed with police, using knives and guns. 

Rioters damaged public and private property and put banks, gas stations, and state buildings on fire.

To control the situation, Iran blocked access to the internet for days. However, most of the country’s internet access has been restored.

Azari Jahromi has said the internet was shut down due to an order by the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC).

However, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued a statement on Friday blacklisting him for what it called his role in “widescale internet censorship,” a reference to a nationwide internet shutdown for security reasons during riots against increase in petrol price.

Azari Jahromi on Monday hit back at the U.S. government for blacklisting him over internet blackout, saying the U.S. measure was based on a “big lie”.

He said that neither he nor the Ministry of ICT has had a role in the Internet blackout or its reconnection in Iran amid the recent unrest, saying it reveals the United States’ lie in this regard.

MH/PA

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