Internet access was cut on Wednesday, December 25, in several Iranian provinces on the eve of commemorations launched on social networks in tribute to those killed during the demonstrations in mid-November triggered by a rise in gas prices, reported the Ilna news agency.
The restriction on internet access has been ordered by senior security officials, said Ilna, who attributed her information to a source in the Iranian Ministry of Information and Telecommunications. “This restriction on internet access only concerns international traffic on mobile phones”, this source told Ilna.
The national websites will remain accessible during the cut, according to the same source. According to Ilna, internet connection will be restricted in particular in the provinces of Alborz (north), Kordestan (west), Fars and Zanjan (north), and the restriction should extend to other provinces.
Agency's late disclaimer
The agency later withdrew its information, denying that the cut was decided by senior officials and the names of the provinces targeted. AFP correspondents in Tehran reported disruptions to the internet on Wednesday and NetBlocks, which monitors free internet access, also discussed the restrictions.
“Evidence of interruption of mobile internet in certain parts of Iran since 6.30 am [4 heures en France] “, wrote the NGO on his Twitter account. The cuts were made on the eve of commemorations planned for victims of violence during the November protests over rising gas prices.
Confirmed: Evidence of mobile internet disruption in parts of #Iran beginning ~ 6:30 a.m. (03:00 UTC); real-time net… https://t.co/UJNLScNGJR
During the dispute, an internet blackout had been imposed by the authorities, while petrol stations, police stations, shopping centers, mosques and public buildings were burnt down or attacked, according to local media.
Authorities still to publish death toll, confirming deaths of only five people so far – four law enforcement officials killed by “Rioters” and a civilian. For its part, Amnesty International reports more than 300 dead during the repression of the demonstrations, evoking a “Horrible killing”.