By Masoud Dalvand
In this article, I will write about two important issues related to the developments in Iran.
First: The role of the Internet and social media in Iran protests.
Second: The suppression of the mullahs’ regime and the impact of US sanctions on the Iranian regime.
Are these two issues related to each other? Of course they are. Social media is the only opportunity that the Iranian people, especially the protesting youth and women, and all the political and social activists, can make their voices heard. And the start of US initial sanctions against the Iranian regime and its effects on its decaying economy is a very important development. Considering the censorship and suppression of Iran, the social media can be used to measure the effects of the sanctions in Iran. So I’ve looked at these two issues in the following article.
The Internet and especially social media play a very important role in social activities in Iran. You know that Iran is a country in which a religious dictatorship is ruling on, so there is no open public media. Radio and television networks and the press are entirely under the control of the government and, in particular, the supreme leader of the Khamenei regime. Public and private websites are under intense censorship and control. In Iran, a ministry called the Ershad, whose work is a censorship of all cultural, artistic and press affairs, in addition to the Iranian regime’s police, has a special Internet police that It’s work is to monitor and filter and suppress all individuals and media on the Internet. They have very simple and humanitarian activities, such as defending the rights of women or children, and other social problems. In 2012 about six years ago, a blogger in Tehran, Sattar Beheshti, was arrested and subjected to torture only for publishing several articles on social problems in Iran and the poverty of people and corruption in government institutions.
Many social and environmental activists in Iran have now been arrested for informing people about the devastating effects of mismanagement on the nature of Iran, the drying up of lakes and rivers, or the reflection of social dilemmas, such as the suppression of women and child labor, and the denial of their rights. They are Prisoners and tortured! The latest example is a human rights lawyer named Nasrin Sotoudeh who was accused of espionage! and five years in jail, and many other examples that I don’t have the time to name all of them.
At last as the most important examples, many young people, including a 26 years old young, named Reza Otadi, in the city of Karaj, were killed by regime repression agents during protests in August, but the regime’s official media tried to reverse this crime by the name of protesters! If not social media, the reality of this regime’s crime was not easily disclosed.
In the protests last January, when thousands of protesters were arrested, several of them were killed, but the regime claimed they had committed suicide! Also in here were social media that exposed the facts of these murders and crimes of the mullahs’ regime.
Therefore, in such a situation that there are no free media in Iran and independent journalists cannot reflect the political and social developments in Iran, the Internet plays a very important role in the Iranian society, especially social media, despite the suppression and filtering of a large role in the developments of Iran. For example, Telegram has a lot of features due to its features and the regime cannot hack it, so that a quarter of the total Telegram users in the world are about 40 million people in Iran.
It was sent to the world through the Telegram, videos and news about the Iran protests in January 2018. In the past eight months, in spite of the Telegram filtering by the Iranian Ministry of Communications, the people, especially the Iranian youth and Iranian women, use this social media to reflect the news of demonstrations and gatherings and strikes in various Iranian cities, and thus in the space Seduction and total tyranny in Iran are the Internet and social media that transmit the constantly changing social movements in Iran all over the country and out of Iran.
The second issue is the suppression of the mullahs’ regime and the impact of US sanctions on the Iranian regime.
The withdrawal of the United States from Iran deal and the implementation of the first phase of sanctions against the Iranian regime have an important impact on the developments inside Iran, in the sense that the Iranian regime has spent money gained from Iran deal on terrorism and the expansion of the regional intervention of the Iran Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) in Syria, Yemen Iraq, Lebanon and other Middle Eastern countries, or use these funds inside Iran to expand the ballistic missile program and threaten the Iran neighbors or US troops and free shipping in the Persian Gulf.
An important part of the proceeds from the sale of Iranian oil and gas was spent on the construction of nuclear weapons as a guarantee of the survival of this government. Therefore, the withdrawal of the United States from Iran deal and economic sanctions against Iran actually limits the resources of the nuclear and missile activities and terrorist activities of the Iranian regime because in Iran, the government does not play any role in provide the basic needs of the people or the well-being and progress of the Iranian society.
The wealth of Iran is being stolen by the regime’s authorities, such as Khamenei Vali-e Faqih and other officials also parliamentarians, as well as the corrupt IRGC, or spending on nuclear, missile and terrorist destructive activities.
Therefore, this American action is not only a pressure on the people of Iran, but on the contrary, the pressure on this government is corrupt, plunderer and terrorist. So it is the weakening of this regime, and helping to revive and uprising the Iranian people against tyranny and religious dictatorship.
With the censorship and filtering of social media such as Telegram, Twitter, Facebook, etc., the Iranian regime tries to prevent the role of the Internet and social media in Iran’s developments. Also by arresting, torture and killing civil and political activists, creates a climate of intimidation in society, but today’s developments in Iran show that the regime has not succeeded.
If the regime has not succeeded in preventing of the Iranian people’s will for freedom until now, so they cannot prevent the spread of protests and their organized resistance and uprising by the rebellious hubs of the PMOI/MEK. Future developments will show this fact.