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Why Iran Regime Fears Social Media and Free Information Exchange

NCRI Staff

NCRI – The media and authorities of the Iranian regime have so far repeatedly expressed concern over social media and cyberspace providing information to the public. They threaten social activists to detention, imprisonment, and punishment.

Now, this concern has led the regime to take a ridiculous step in announcing an indictment against Telegram management.

Regarding the indictment against Telegram, the state-run Mehr news agency on September 26 quoting Abbas Ja’fari Dowlatabadi, Iranian regime’s prosecutor in Tehran, reported: “An indictment is file against Telegram Management and the case is referred to the international affairs section of Tehran’s prosecutor’s office. The fact that Telegram network considers itself subject to western laws does not prevent filing this indictment…”

The indictment against Telegram management by a regime’s judiciary that violates international laws and the laws of other countries and issues fatwa (decree) and order against foreign citizens because of their writings or statements is ridiculous.

In the face of the announcement of the indictment, Telegram manager remarked on his surprise: “I am surprised to hear that [charges have been brought against Telegram]. We are actively blocking terrorist and pornographic content in Iran. I think the real reasons are different.”

The fact is that there is no reason for the regime to declare an indictment against Telegram management, except that the regime is scared of the role of social media in providing information and informing people.

The regime’s actions to curtail and eliminate cyberspace and social media are so odious and detestable and have given reversed results that the regime’s media have shown high reactions to these restrictions during the regime’s factional feuding.

The state-run Aftab (Sunshine) website on September 26 writes: “When we cannot cope with the crisis and manage it, we restrict and remove it. We should not be thinking of cutting off cyberspace or blackening it for students.”

“Cyberspace and its use is not a pathetic or inconvenient patch and we should not lose teaching and learning capacity of cyberspace by using ineffective blackmail and chantage,” the website added.
The fact is that the regime’s inability to manage the crisis created by social media and cyberspace has created such a horror in the regime. One of these “unmanageable crises” for the regime is the reflection of the Iranian people’s desire to overthrow the mullahs’ regime in cyberspace.

In response to such an atmosphere, Zanan News website, September 26, writes: “The soft war is nothing less than the eight-year war of Iran and Iraq / every Iranian is a warrior and every home is a barricade! The soft war on political and military dimensions has various definitions and applications and the most famous and most practical use of them in the political science is soft overthrow, velvet or color revolution, and in military science, psychological operation or psychological warfare.”

On the same day, the state-run Basij news agency wrote: “The war we are in today is a soft war whose risks are far more than military warfare. If we cannot use cyberspace properly, it will be cumbersome in the future.”

The Iranian regime’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) is also concerned about the information circulating through cyberspace on overthrow of the regime, and in this regard, the commander of the IRGC’s Imam Corps says: “The enemy cannot overcome the revolution at the direct scenes, but with soft war it is following the overthrow of the Islamic system. We must be sensitive to values. The enemy wants to undermine the spirit of struggle and jihad in Islamic society,” (IRNA news agency, September 26).

The announcement of Iranian regime’s indictment against Telegram director reveals the regime’s fears of the use of cyberspace and social media by the fed-up strata of the society and the forces of uprising as a means to make their demands inclusive and popular and organize their ranks.