Press TV – Iran’s minister of telecommunications has slammed remarks by a senior US diplomat about internet blackout in Iran, saying it is pure hypocrisy that Americans are promising to provide Iranians with free and unrestricted internet.
Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi said on Monday Americans would better think about the unrestricted flow of vital medicines to the Iranian patients suffering from cancer rather that caring about internet and its sustainability in Iran.
US ambassador to Germany Richard Allen Grenell said in a tweet on Sunday that his government had the technical ability to ensure that internet in Iran would be free of any blocking attempt, a claim rejected by Azari as untrue, at least for the time being.
“Internet will return to the life of the Iranian people soon and the government would continue to develop it,” said Azari, vowing that the internet in Iran will continue to be a platform for exposing the “oppressive” policies of the US government.
The United States has imposed a raft of economic sanctions on Iran since it withdrew from a major international agreement on Tehran’s nuclear activity last year.
Despite numerous statements by the White House denying the sanctions have had any humanitarian impacts on Iran, authorities in Tehran say the bans have directly affected the supply of vital medicines into the country, including those needed by children suffering from epidermolysis bullosa (EB).
Internet services to be restored ‘soon’
Elsewhere in his remarks, Azari said that internet services that were cut across Iran following fuel-related protests earlier this week will be restored “soon”.
Speaking to reporters in the Iranian parliament, Azari said that Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) will soon authorize the restoration of internet services after several days of disruptions caused by riots over a hike in the price of gasoline.
The SNSC ordered a blackout on online services on Saturday, a day after the government announced new prices for gasoline without prior notice.
Authorities said the riots had caused widespread damage on public and private properties.
Azari said he was pursuing the case personally as he admitted that the blackout had caused “numerous problems” for the people and the government.
The minister insisted, however, that a successful switching of many online services to Iran’s National Information Network (NIN) had prevented a full halt to banking and other routine activities on the internet.
“The infrastructure for the NIN has made a significant progress,” said Azari while expressing regret that the content offered on the network is not enough to respond to all public needs.