The Iranian regime’s parliament is to ban and filter all the social media applications in Iran. This medieval action in the era of technology shows how terrified the mullahs are from the population and their connection with the organized resistance movement. But will the regime get its desired security?
This plan, in addition to banning all the foreign social media platforms, imposes other restrictions on users. This includes identification of all users who use anti-filters to access websites that are considered a crime. So why does the regime intend to do such a thing?
For years, the Iranian regime used the absence of mass media to freely conceal its crimes, continuing the violation of people’s rights, and plundering national wealth. Now moments after the mullahs’ regime commits a crime the world becomes aware of this.
Now the situation has changed, and technology is at the service of all the Iranian citizens. The Iranian people could easily inform and connect with the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), and this has very much terrified the regime.
The major Iran protests in November are a testament to this new situation. Thousands of Iranians across Iran, within hours after the regime announced its plan to raise fuel price, poured onto the streets. The regime’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei ordered a violent crackdown on these protests and his security forces killed over 1500 people. Yet, people were able to send footage of the regime’s crimes outside, mobilizing the international community. This prompted the regime to completely shut down the internet in Iran for days.
In other words, the regime is very much terrified of social media platforms and how people use them.
In this regard, the state-run Resalat daily on August 23 wrote: “The situation is not the same as two decades ago to control and manage incidents and news. The soft war era has started for years. On one side is the [regime] and on the other side are its enemies and opponents. This is much like the Iran-Iraq war with one slight difference: that was a hard war and this one is a soft war.”
Further plundering people
In addition to its criminal and oppressive intentions in filtering social media platforms, the regime is willing to economically profit from this plan. This is the same regime that started selling oil to the people to cover its budget deficit and plunder people’s every penny.
In this regard, Abbas Abdi, who participated in Iran hostage crisis in 1981, in an interview with the Etemad daily on August 5 said: “Filtering is not the right name for what they want to do or have done in the past, but its right name is distributing and selling anti–filters and increasing virtual traffic volume, which means more profit for operators. In fact, this is an economic plan, not a political or cultural one. It is presented as a cultural and media project. But, in fact, it is an economic project with the aim of earning more money.”
Will the regime be successful?
This plan, due to the explosiveness of the Iranian society, is destined to fail. In this regard, the state-run Hamdeli daily on August 23 wrote: “We should not repeat the same mistake in dealing with the internet as we did it in dealing with the satellite and videos. Those same restrictions should not be imposed, because we cannot fight the technology; it will find its way. We cannot build a wall across Iran.”
As the state-run Etemad daily on August 23 wrote: “The outcome of this plan will be a copied social medial platform with no outcome. There will be no security [for the regime]. By imposing these restrictions, people will choose the streets to protest.”