Iran: United States will raise certain trade prohibitions to facilitate internet access

Tehran has drastically reduced online communications, seeking to weaken the dispute caused by the death of Mahsa Amini after her arrest by the Police of manners.

Le Monde with AFP

Washington is supporting the Iranians. The US Treasury Department announced, Friday, September 23, the lifting of certain trade prohibitions with Iran on Friday, September 23, in order to allow technological companies to provide platforms and services allowing access to the Internet, including access has been strongly limited in the country by the authorities. “With these changes, we help the Iranian people to be better equipped to counter the government’s efforts to monitor and censor it,” said the ministry in its press release, stressing the importance for Iranians to have “access to factual information “.

The power of Tehran blocked access to Instagram and WhatsApp after six days of protests caused by the death, on September 16, of Mahsa Amini, a young woman arrested by the moral police. State media said Thursday that seventeen people died in demonstrations. But the assessment is likely to be much heavier, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI), NGO based in New York, reports at least thirty-six civilians killed by the security forces.

Human rights NGOs are concerned in particular with the blocking of Instagram, extremely popular in Iran, which could allow a repression “out of sight”, according to Amnesty International.

National Internet

Netblocks, a site based in London which observes the blockages of the Internet around the world, described the restrictions as “the most severe” in Iran since the deadly repression of the demonstrations of November 2019, when the network had been practically Totally cut. The organization says that mobile networks have been temporarily suspended and that certain regions are undergoing significant access restrictions. Observers have thus noted a blockage in Iranian Kurdistan (northwest), region of origin of Mahsa Amini, where some of the most violent demonstrations took place.

At the Agency France-Presse, Mahsa Alimardani, researcher on Iran for the organization of defense of rights article 19, said that some people succeed in bypassing restrictions using virtual private networks. She considers that the authorities could fear the negative effects on the country’s economy in the event of a complete cut and that they can also rely on the “national information network”, a kind of national internet.

The restrictions “complicate” the publication of videos of demonstrations, but despite everything, “they continue to circulate”, according to her. Among these videos published on the networks are those of women burning their veil, demonstrators heartbreaking from the effigies of the leaders of the Islamic Republic, but also the police drawn on the crowd.

“The possibility bloodbath “

During the demonstrations of November 2019, caused by the increase in the price of fuels, the internet cut had allowed the authorities to repress practically behind closed doors. Amnesty International says that 321 people had been killed then, stressing that this number only covers proven cases and that the real balance of victims could be much higher.

The NGO says it is “very concerned about disruption of internet access and mobile networks”, and calls on the international community to put pressure quickly so that Tehran “ceases to kill and injure even more demonstrators at the shelter of eyes “. Hadi Ghaemi, the director of the CHRI, believes that “the possibility of a bloodbath is now real”.

Instagram boss, Adam Mosseri, confided his concern, while the WhatsApp application stressed that she was not at the origin of the disturbances, adding that the group “would do everything in [its] capacities to maintain the service “. The signal messaging service has confirmed to be still blocked in Iran and encouraged its users outside the country to use bypass solutions, via intermediate servers, to allow Iranians to connect. Id = “x8dx650” Data-Provider = “Dailymotion” data -tle = “Images of pro-regime Iranians who show to defend the port of the compulsory veil”>

/Media reports.