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25 Dec 2019 | 09:17 PM UTC

Iran: Mobile internet services restricted ahead of potential nationwide protests December 26 /update 11

Authorities suspend mobile internet services ahead of expected nationwide protests on December 26; heightened security presence and associated disruptions expected

communications/technology
security
transportation
IRN

Event

Authorities have restricted mobile internet services in several provinces ahead of nationwide protests expected on Thursday, December 26. Opposition activists have reportedly used social media to call for nationwide demonstrations on Thursday. Details regarding exact meeting locations or times are unclear as of the morning (local time) on Thursday. Authorities in Alborz, Kurdestan, Zanjan, Fars provinces, as well as in parts of central and western Iran, have consequently suspended mobile internet services. However, a spokesperson for the communications ministry denied responsibility for any internet disruptions. 

A heightened security presence, transportation, business and communications disruptions are expected near any protest site. Clashes between demonstrators and security forces are also anticipated.

Context

On November 14, the Iranian government announced a fuel price hike that sparked nationwide protests on November 15. Authorities began limiting access to the internet on November 16 but has since been largely restored.

The US Department of State announced on December 5, that it believes Iranian security forces have killed at least 1000 protesters amid a nationwide movement. The US figure remains unconfirmed by other organizations.

Advice

Individuals in Iran are advised to monitor developments, avoid all protests due to the risk of violence, budget extra time to reach their destinations if traveling through areas affected by demonstrations, prepare for associated disruptions to transportation and business, and adhere to instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.