Former Minister of Communication and Information Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi high-fiving a man from Arvan Cloud company as Mahmoud Vaezi, the Chief of Staff of former president Hassan Rouhani is looking (July 2019)

US Sanctions Company Over Iran’s Internet Censorship

Friday, 06/02/2023

The US has sanctioned Iran-based tech firm Arvan Cloud, its co-founders, and an affiliate UAE-based company over helping the regime censor Internet in Iran.

In a statement issued on Friday, the US Department of the Treasury said Arvan Cloud has a close relationship with Iran’s intelligence services, including the Ministry of Intelligence and Security, and the company’s executives have extensive ties to senior government officials.

The EU had sanctioned the company in November.

Reiterating that unrestricted access to information is fundamental right, Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson said, “The US is committed to holding accountable those who seek to undermine freedom of expression and suppress dissent, and to call out regimes who deny their citizens this right.”

Navyan Abr Arvan Private Limited Company, known as Arvan Cloud, and two of its founders Pouya Pirhosseinloo and Farhad Fatemi and the Dubai-based ArvanCloud Global Technologies worked with Iran’s Information and Communications Technology Ministry to develop a countrywide intranet that is being used to disconnect the Iranian people from the global Internet.

Mehdi Bahadori and Alireza Hashemi are the other co-founders and Keivan JameBozorg is the company's chairman of the board. They were not included in the US list of sanctions.

The Iranian government has regularly used Internet restrictions and the throttling of Internet speeds to suppress dissent, surveil and punish Iranians for exercising their freedom of expression and assembly both online and offline, and limit the dissemination to the international community of credible information about egregious human rights violations.

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