Iran censors internet on the eve of new protests

Iran blocks internet ahead of possible new protests

New internet outages in Iran ahead of commemorations

Iran's government has again started restricting mobile internet access in several provinces ahead of calls for demonstrations on social media, Reuters reported citing an Iranian news agency. Reuters news agency put the death toll at about 1,500, based on information from unnamed interior ministry officials.

About 1,500 people were killed during less than two weeks of unrest that started on November 15, three Iranian interior ministry officials told Reuters, according to a report published on Monday.

Although it has been estimated that hundreds of people were killed in the protests, the Iran government has refused to give out an official number.

A man holds a smartphone connected to a Wifi network without internet access, at an office in the Iranian capital Tehran, November 17, 2019.

The unrest soon took a broader anti-establishment turn and authorities responded with a crackdown.

Tabriz NW #Iran - a convoy of security forces marches through the streets as the #Iranian regime prepares for the #IranProtests and commemorative ceremonies for the protesters killed called by their families for December 26.

November's protests have been sparked by a midnight improve within the value of gasoline and shortly unfold to greater than 100 Iranian cities and cities, together with communities thought-about the spine of help for the ruling elite.

Last month, Iran imposed near total internet blackouts for one week in a bid to control the protests that had erupted against a sudden and sharp fuel price hike.

NetBlocks, a website that monitors global internet outages, also reported the disruptions, tweeting that there had been "evidence of mobile internet disruption in parts of #Iran" since 6:30 am (0300 GMT).

It said the shutdown was ordered by "security authorities" and covered the Alborz, Kurdestan and Zanjan provinces in central and western Iran and Fars in the south.

"This restriction on internet access exclusively includes global traffic of mobile phone lines", a source from the Communications and Information Technology ministry told ILNA.

Internet blockage observatory NetBlocks said on Twitter that there was evidence of internet disruption in parts of the country.

The shutdown appeared to be spreading. "No such order has been issued by the judiciary or other relevant authorities. Fake news is working", Jamal Hadian said in a Twitter post.

These were the details of the news Iran blocks internet ahead of possible new protests for this day. Authorities cited concerns that the ceremony could create unrest.

State media, meanwhile, said intelligence ministry agents had seized a cache of 126 mostly US-made guns smuggled to the central city of Isfahan from overseas. "Most of the weapons carry United States of America badges and are American-made", it added.

The Internet blockade made it hard for protesters to publish videos on social networks to generate support and also to obtain reliable reports on the extent of the disturbances. Iran's economy has taken a big hit since the United States unilaterally withdrew past year from the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers; renewed US sanctions have hurt Iranian officials and regular citizens.

Iran has blamed "thugs" linked to exiles and foreign foes - the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia - for stirring up unrest through social media.

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