The Iranian Regime is blaming the current popular uprising in the country to two main factors: access to the internet and Iran’s enemies abroad. They believe that the enemies of the Iranian Regime are joining together to undermine the Regime and rile up the people via social networking sites.
Of course, the actual reason for the protests is Regime corruption and a failure to meet the needs of its people and the only enemies of the Regime that are responsible for the protests are the Iranian people themselves.
Ali Jafari, commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), and others in the faction of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei have blamed President Hassan Rouhani for the widespread access to the internet and a lack of official control over it.
Indeed, Iranian Prosecutor-General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri said on
January 4: “The Internet is considered to be a source of damage that destroys homes and creates many problems for families and young people,
and, unfortunately, no effort is being made to direct it. If we do not think of a solution for the Internet, and for the foreigners’ plots, a harsh future awaits us. We must block the active channels that aim to destroy society’s morality, to denigrate the sacred values, and to destroy society’s security.”
However, given the high levels of internet censorship in Iran prior to the uprising, it is almost impossible to follow the logic of an internet used by the Regime’s enemies to create havoc online and stir up the protests.
So what is the Regime doing in response to the protests? Are they meeting the public’s demands for pulling out of costly foreign wars? Are they revising the budget to provide subsidies for the poor?
Nope. They’ve instituted a brutal crackdown on the protesters, resulting in at least 50 deaths and at least 8,000 arrests and they’ve also increased internet censorship- going so far as to block it entirely in some regions- and have even proposed the creation of an intranet for Iran, to block sites that they consider to be dangerous, like Instagram, or a Regime-run social network.
They now consider internet use in Iran to be akin to letting an enemy into your home. Some have even demanded that the Rohani government apologize for their failure to develop a Regime-controlled intranet before.
The Regime is so scared of their people being able to contact the outside world (especially Western media and culture) that, on January 6, they announced that English studies would now be banned in government and non-government elementary schools.
Originally published at freedomstarblog.wordpress.com on January 19, 2018.