Iran Cuts Off Internet Amid Mass Protests, Calls For "Armed Uprising"

One day after we reported that several satellite networks in Iran were jammed amid the anti-government protests that have gripped the middle-eastern nation, late on Saturday reports emerged  that telecom providers in Iran have begun blocking internet access across several cities in the country as mass protests erupted for the third day in a row.

According to Al Arabiya, among the telecom companies imposing blocks, was Hamrahe Aval, the primary Mobile Telecommunication Company of Iran (MTCI or MCI) as social media continues to play a pivotal role in documenting mass protests and subsequent brutal crackdown on peaceful protesters in the country. Additionally, AFP reporters said that the main TV networks were interrupted at least in Tehran shortly before midnight.

The MTCI is considered a firm jointly held by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and other firms controlled by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

Iran’s two main internet and communications service providers are the Telecommunication Company of Iran (TCI) and Irancell. TCI and its subsidiaries, including MCI, are owned by Tosee Etemad Mobin Company which has close links to Iran’s IRGC.

The last time Iran cut off internet access across several cities was when the popular Green Movement protests took place against what many considered unfair elections in 2009 when hardliner incumbent president at the time, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, won re-election.

Several Iranian news agencies warned Telegram, the most popular social media service in the country, might soon be shut down after communications minister Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi accused one popular channel, Amadnews, of encouraging an "armed uprising".

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Meanwhile, the conservative Mehr news agency posted videos of protesters attacking a town hall in central Tehran, overturning a police car and burning the Iranian flag.

Separately, AFP reports that amid Saturday's Iran protests, Demonstrators attacked a town hall in the Iranian capital Saturday as protests spilled into a third night despite government warnings against any further "illegal gatherings."

Unverified videos on social media appeared to show thousands marching through the western cities of Khorramabad, Zanjan and Ahvaz, while reports spread rapidly that several people had been shot dead by police in the town of Dorud.

Clips posted on Twitter showed protesters breaking into and occupying the governor compound in Arak, a town 100km Southwest of Tehran.

A similar scene was observed in one of Iran's principal port cities, bandar Abbas, on the southern coast of Iran, which not only occupies a strategic position on the Strait of Hormuz, but is the main base of the Iranian navy.

Earlier in the day, there was chaos around the capital's university as hundreds took to the streets, blocking traffic and shouting slogans against the regime. But the authorities could also count on a show of strength, with hundreds of counter-demonstrators seizing control of the university entrance, chanting "Death to the seditionists".

AFP notes that the authorities were also fortunate that annual rallies marking the defeat of the last major protest movement in 2009 had already been scheduled for Saturday morning and brought thousands of regime supporters to the streets across the country.

"We urge all those who receive these calls to protest not to participate in these illegal gatherings as they will create problems for themselves and other citizens," said Interior Minister Abdolrahman Rahmani Fazli.

The protests began in the second city of Mashhad on Thursday as an attack on high living costs but quickly turned against the Islamic regime as a whole. There were even chants in favour of the monarchy toppled by the Islamic revolution of 1979, while others criticised the regime for supporting the Palestinians and other regional movements rather than focusing on problems at home.

State news channel IRINN said it had been banned from covering the protests that spread to towns and cities including Qom and Kermanshah.

"The enemy wants once again to create a new plot and use social media and economic issues to foment a new sedition," Ayatollah Mohsen Araki, a prominent cleric, told a crowd in Tehran, according to the conservative Fars news agency.

Other officials also pointed the blame outside Iran.

"Although people have a right to protest, protesters must know how they are being directed," Massoumeh Ebtekar, vice president in charge of women's affairs, wrote on Twitter. She posted images from Twitter accounts based in the United States and Saudi Arabia, voicing support for the Mashhad protests.

As reported earlier, US President Donald Trump tweeted later that Iran's people wanted change and "oppressive regimes cannot endure forever". But officials in Iran warned against dismissing the public anger seen in recent days.

"The country is facing serious challenges with unemployment, high prices, corruption, lack of water, social gap, unbalanced distribution of budget," tweeted Hesamoddin Ashena, cultural adviser to President Hassan Rouhani. "People have the right for their voice to be heard."

There has been particular anger at welfare cuts and fuel price increases in the latest budget announced earlier this month.

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Some of this week's protests were directed against financial scandals linked to unauthorised lending institutions which collapsed with the loss of hundreds of thousands of accounts. Payam Parhiz, editor-in-chief of reformist media network Nazar that broke the news of the Mashhad protests, said they were more focused on the economy than those in 2009, which were sparked by allegations of election-rigging.

"Then, they were middle-class and their slogans went beyond economic matters to things like cultural liberties," he told AFP. "Today, the concerns are economic. There are people who have lost their life savings. They will protest until their problems are resolved."

Since taking power in 2013, Rouhani has sought to clean up the banking sector and kickstart the economy, but many say progress has been too slow. Aware that economic problems can quickly spiral into political chaos, officials from across the political spectrum have called for greater efforts to tackle poverty and the 12 percent unemployment rate.

"Solving people's economic problems is the chief priority in the country," tweeted Ebrahim Raisi, the hardline cleric defeated by Rouhani in May's presidential election.

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Finally, there are those who speculate that the rising tide of Iranian protests are hardly organic and spontaneous, but heavily orchestrated by the likes of Israel, Saudi Arabia and the US, i.e. CIA, as suggested one month ago in ""Explosive" Leaked Secret Israeli Cable Confirms Israeli-Saudi Coordination To Provoke War" an article in which we wrote the following:

... as things increasingly heat up in the Middle East, it appears the anti-Iran and anti-Shia alliance of convenience between the Saudis and Israelis appears to have placed Lebanon in the cross hairs of yet another looming Israeli-Hezbollah war. And the war in Yemen will also continue to escalate - perhaps now with increasingly overt Israeli political support. According to Channel 10's commentary (translation), "In the cable, Israeli ambassadors were also asked to convey an unusual message of support for Saudi Arabia in light of the war in which it is involved in Yemen against the Iranian-backed rebels."

All of this this comes, perhaps not coincidentally, at the very moment ISIS is on the verge of complete annihilation (partly at the hands of Hezbollah), and as both Israel and Saudi Arabia have of late increasingly declared "red lines" concerning perceived Iranian influence across the region as well as broad Hezbollah acceptance and popularity within Lebanon.

Then just two days ago, we also revealed the US trail in "US And Israel Reach "Secret Plan" To Counter Iran", in which we reported that one month after we reported  that Israel would take the unprecedented step of sharing intelligence with Saudi Arabia as the two countries ramped up efforts to curb what they perceive as "Iranian expansion" in the region, on Thursday Israel's Channel 10 reported that Israel has also pivoted to the US and reached a similar plan to counter Iranian activity in the Middle East. As Axios added, U.S. and Israeli officials said the joint understandings were reached in "a secret meeting" between senior Israeli and U.S. delegations at the White House on December 12th.

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It is unclear as of this moment if a "CIA and Israel funded, spontaneous anti-government mass protest uprising" was among the understandings reached.

Comments

Apollo55 HominyTwin Dec 31, 2017 10:44 AM Permalink

Sorry m8 but when your storage device goes broke what then?? Unfortunately u can not copy and back up your Cryptos in another hard drive. Perhaps in the future???U just hold a digital promise that u may exchange your digital bits for FIAT currency assuming u might find someone who is willing to give u something for it.

In reply to by HominyTwin

Mustafa Kemal tmosley Dec 30, 2017 8:35 PM Permalink

tmosley, i dont normally give advice, but one should be cautious when taking bayesian inference seriously. To begin, it is just a way of updating someone beliefs as the data comes in, so even though it updated in somewhat sensible way after the observatioins, it is still someone belief, and I am not sure why I should care. The other is that, even if you dont care about the above point,

bayesian inference is unstable to the choice of prior and the model.  Danger will robinson.  Look under Brittleness of Bayesian inference and Qualitative Robustness in Bayesian Inference.

En iyi dileklerli

Mustafa

In reply to by tmosley

BobEore Battlefield USA Dec 30, 2017 8:24 PM Permalink

Watch Turkey.

We do.... regularly. And try to pass on the benefits of our observations to the benighted hostages of the 'new/old/medias back in Gulagistan.

 

The script has long been written... and placed in plain view... of a sightless media preparing it's witless readers for the coup de grace.

https://storify.com/SuaveBel/for-reasons-of-state

Those who have grown accustomed to being mere spectators of such theaters of blood as the middle east has become will no longer need feel restricted to such third party roles... as the terrible games of gift exchange between the psychopaths of east and west bring the action out of the television and computer screens of the dazed denizens of the dying west

Shit gets real.

In reply to by Battlefield USA

Internet-is-Beast BobEore Jan 4, 2018 4:45 AM Permalink

SuaveBel--that's a fascinating site for understanding the Middle East. I had forgotten the name, and in my frustration, was hoping you would post it again, so thanks for that. Really intelligent thinkers who can cut through the propaganda are few and far between! It looks like Tyler is quoting MSM propaganda in saying that these riots are anti-government, whereas they are generally pro-government from what I have read. This is the same garbage they said about Syria, when in fact Bashir Assad had a 75% approval rating. I fear that Iran will see Teheran nuked. More millions to die for absolutely nothing. Bloodthirsty Neocons.

In reply to by BobEore

Oldwood Gaius Frakkin'… Dec 30, 2017 6:15 PM Permalink

I'm sure it's the Russians. Everyone knows only the Russians can instigate such things with their strategically placed $100,000 worth of adds on social media. They have turned a peaceful people into raving lunatics demanding freedom and liberty and other such nonsensical tripe.

Or is it another Antifa wing at work?

Sadly there is NO action a people or person can take that is not immediately perceived as contrived or manipulated....and with the level of media (social and otherwise) constantly permeating our brains.....how could any action be anything else BUT contrived or manipulated? 

The world is now a freak show, socially, financially, religiously, militarily....ANY perspective, all the product of propaganda, indoctrination, greed and corruption, with a healthy layer of fear over it all.

CHAOS

In reply to by Gaius Frakkin'…

Ms No Gaius Frakkin'… Dec 30, 2017 7:27 PM Permalink

They probably had a layover in Europe to get some good European funded welfare meals after Soros paid ten grand per ISIS passenger fee for them, during their evacuation and when Russia was pummeling their asses in Syria.  Then they got some free medical care and kiddie raping in first.  Then they took their 80% male "refugee" asses, covered in designer jeans and with cellphones and Nikes, back to the latest battlefield for the globalists.  Of course Mossad and the CIA have no doubt been building sleeper cells there going way back as well.

In reply to by Gaius Frakkin'…

veritas semper… Gaius Frakkin'… Dec 30, 2017 7:22 PM Permalink

Let's see: 50 "freedom fighters" in each three Iranian cities. And this can justify a "regime change"?

My question is this:The hundred of thousands protesting in Gaza/Palestine count as freedom fighters?Will those justify regime change in that criminal entity we call an ally?

How about the execution of unarmed citizens there ,like the 9 year old yesterday,like the double amputee armed with a Palestinian flag ,and other such examples of the "democracy " of that  chickenshit little country,do these count as CRIMES against unarmed civilians?

How about the arrest of the 15 year old girl who slapped an IS..RA..EL.. soldier because he shot her brother?

Let see if ZH deletes my post like it did with my comments criticizing that country?

If this happens again,it will be my last post here.

In reply to by Gaius Frakkin'…