The Prosecutor General of the Iranian Regime has expressed growing concern over the Iranian people’s social media use and linked it to growing cyber crimes and sin, during an interview with the Revolutionary Guards-affiliated Fars news agency.
Mohammad Jafar Montazeri said: “Why should we be witnessing so much crime and sin in our society? The numbers are terrifying and this should be a warning to our officials. My messages are to those who can cleanse [social media], even if its 50 per cent lesser. In the past ten months alone, cyberspace crimes and computer-based crimes have increased by 140 per cent.”
These remarks could easily be the precursor to a new wave of crackdowns and censorship against the Iranian people, as happened at the start of 2018 during the nationwide anti-regime protests.
Montazeri proceeded to go on a rampage against the messaging apps provided through social media platforms, calling them “disgraceful” and saying that authorities should be going to the Anti-Computer Crime Department to ask who is responsible for all this.
However, he was not the only mullah to take issue with social media recently.
Javad Javeed-Nia, the Deputy Prosecutor General in Cyberspace Affairs, claimed that 90% of Iran’s cyberspace is controlled by foreigners who wish to change the attitudes of the Iranian people. Given that he specifically referenced the Iranian opposition group the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) in this claim, he presumably meant with the ultimate goal of regime change.
Javeed-Nia said: “Those who care about our state must launch a media campaign against the enemy, identify the enemy’s strengths and weaknesses, and place forward an adequate analysis.”
It is clear from all of this that the Regime sees public access to a free and fair internet as a growing threat to the continued rule of the mullahs, especially if the Iranian people should happen to read posts by the PMOI/MEK.
However, this does beg the question, why would Iranians be swayed into protests and risk their lives for regime change if living under the mullahs was so good in the first place? The answer being that the Iranian Regime is a dire dictatorship to live under and the PMOI/MEK represent the best chance for the Iranian people to live free in a democracy.
The Iranian people are not being influenced by what foreigners post about their country, but rather by what they experience in their daily lives. Shockingly, a regime that seeks to censor the internet and execute protesters does not endear itself to its people.