Iran has restricted the internet for the second consecutive night in the run-up to the first anniversary of the death of Mahsa Amini, NetBlocks monitoring service reported on September 10.
Islamic Republic authorities are now purposefully disconnecting entire regions of Iran and throttling speeds in Tehran in expectation of a repeat of protests over the death of Mahsa Amini on September 16 at the hands of the feared so-called Guidance Patrol, which arrests women for improper hijab.
The non-governmental organisation said the outages were confirmed by user reports in northwestern Iran on September 9 initially but reports from other areas of throttled access appear to be increasing in the run-up to the anniversary date, CITNA reported.
The internet monitoring service confirmed “an internet disruption has been registered in #Iran for the second night in a row from ~1:00 am local time; Network data show connectivity falling to 71% of ordinary levels.”
Users across the country confirmed that internet speeds have dropped significantly in recent hours on fixed and mobile internet connections, including major providers like Mobile Communications Iran (MCI), the largest mobile network operator in the Islamic Republic.
Iran is expected to remain under throttled conditions for several days as authorities continue to fear a repeat of the events from last year, when 500 people were killed in protests across the country.
Despite the internet sector being rife with virtual private network (VPN) resellers which enable people to hop over restrictions when national-level threats occur to the ruling system, even those VPNs do not connect to the world wide web. Content that threatens national security is blocked or filtered, including social media, streaming services, human rights organisations, porn, gambling, and other banned subjects.
Countering reports that authorities are cutting the country off, the technical director of Iran Server Company responded to Netblocks’ post, saying: "This disruption was related to a pre-planned programme of changes concerning the power system modification of the data centre infrastructure.”
Meanwhile, some users, reacting to the post by the technical director of Iran Server Company, complained about the lack of public notification.
He replied: “Changes are communicated to affected companies, and they can inform their customers. Currently, the infrastructure company does not have public notifications.”
Iran, on the vanguard against the development of anti-regime protests, has insisted that it is on top of any flare-ups allegedly organised by expatriate groups which oppose their ruling clique.
The country’s intelligence minister made an announcement on national television IRIB on September 10 that the intelligence services managed to disrupt potential terrorist incidents in the country.
Ismail Khatib's statement emphasised the efforts of the security forces in thwarting plots "endangering societal harmony, with the overarching aim of cultivating a peaceful domestic atmosphere". Outlining a “robust strategy”, the minister spoke of countering a myriad of threats, ranging from opposition to Israel and global dominion systems to terrorism, subversion, and espionage.