Internet to be Blocked on Elections Day?
The rumor in Tehran these days is that on March 14, 2008 when Iranians go to polling stations to cast their vote for the eight Majlis (Parliament), the Internet will be blocked and thus not accessible in Tehran and other major cities across the country. But even though this possibility still remains at the level of a rumor, the recent comments by the Minister of the Interior, and the Political Deputy of Tehran Province, throw weight behind the chitchat. Pour Mohammadi not only did not deny the rumors, he in fact relegated the decision on this to the Telecommunications Company of Iran.
At a women’s seminar in Tehran, a reporter recently asked Pour Mohammadi whether the rumor was right and that the “Ministry of the Interior had requested the Ministry of Communications and Technology to block access to the Internet on March 14th. Without denying the rumor or addressing the issue whether the Internet will be blocked or otherwise, Mohammadi said, “Whether the Internet will be blocked on elections day depends on the security plans of the Ministry of Communications and Technology.”
And while claiming ignorance as to how such news spread out he said, “Precautionary measures will be implemented, as good ones have already been implemented and the Ministry of Communications shall continue to be minutely monitoring the security of the elections.”