An Iranian lawmaker says the authorities have shut off Internet access in the country because of the role foreign-based Persian TV channels play in the current uprising.
Vahid Jalalzadeh, the chairman of the National Security Committee of the Iranian parliament, said on Saturday the Islamic Republic will provide Iranians with access to the Internet if the European countries cut off “anti-Iran” networks in cyberspace.
Late in September, Iran’s foreign ministry had summoned the British ambassador in Tehran over what it called “a hostile atmosphere” created by London-based Persian media outlets. There are three London-based major Iranian satellite TV channels beaming programs into Iran; Iran International TV, Manoto TV and BBC Persian.
After protests began in mid-September the Biden Administration pledged to help the people in Iran to circumvent Internet filtering as well as providing alternative methods of connectivity as opposed to traditional land and phone line internet.
The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee is now considering a bill to support global Internet freedom, following government disruption of access in Iran amid protests.
Authorities disrupt the Internet to prevent news of unrest reaching the rest of the country and abroad, and to prevent protesters from galvanizing support in nearby regions.
Amid heightened restrictions on Internet access following nationwide antigovernment protests, Iranians’ use of VPNs has risen over 3,000 percent in the previous month.