Posted by on September 23, 2022 1:43 pm
Categories: News Washington Examiner

Treasury Department moves to expand internet access in Iran amid mass censorship

In this Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022, photo taken by an individual not employed by the <i>Associated Press</i> and obtained by the <i>AP</i> outside Iran, protesters throw stones at anti-riot police during a protest over the death of a young woman who had been detained for violating the country’s conservative dress code, in downtown Tehran, Iran. AP

Treasury Department moves to expand internet access in Iran amid mass censorship

Ryan King September 23, 12:57 PMSeptember 23, 12:57 PM Video Embed

The Treasury Department is issuing a general license for companies to bolster internet access to Iranians as Tehran cuts off internet access to its citizens while civil unrest takes the country by storm.

Under the new license, United States-based technology firms will be permitted to offer Iranians “more options of secure, outside platforms and services” to counter Tehran, which cut off most global internet access to its 80 million citizens on Wednesday.


“As courageous Iranians take to the streets to protest the death of Mahsa Amini, the United States is redoubling its support for the free flow of information to the Iranian people,” Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo declared in a press release.

Citizens of Iran have been subject to the most “severe internet restrictions” in the nation since authorities clashed with protesters in November 2019, according to internet access monitor NetBlocks.

While not as comprehensive as the 2019 restrictions, there have been stringent constraints placed on Instagram and WhatsApp, France 24 reported. Experts fear that curbing internet access could enable Iran to embark on a bloody crackdown concealed from the rest of the world.

“It’s significantly different to what we saw in November 2019. It’s not as near total and complete as it was back then but more sporadic,” Mahsa Alimardani, a researcher on Iran, told the outlet.

Massive protests and unrest have taken Iran by storm during the past week, following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini on Sept. 16. Amini was apprehended by Iranian authorities for allegedly breaching Tehran’s strict dress code for women.

Officials claimed her death was caused by a heart attack, but international experts have theorized she was beaten by Iran’s morality police, the Associated Press reported.

Outraged by her death, many Iranian women have taken to the streets, ripping off their state-mandated headscarves and burning them in protest. Chants of “Death to the dictator” could be heard during some protests.

The death toll from the tumult could be as high as 26 people, state media reported, per Politico.

As government officials clash with Iranian protesters, several thousand counterprotesters have taken to the streets in support of the government, the Associated Press reported.

A number of governments around the world have condemned the violence, including the U.S. The Treasury announced sanctions against Iran’s morality police this week to punish the country for the death of Amini and the crackdown that followed.


Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi was in New York City Wednesday for the United Nations General Assembly meeting. He refrained from opining on the uproar griping his home half a world away during his speech and instead chastised the U.S. for pursuing “her own interests at the expense of other countries.”

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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