To “promote the free flow of information” for Iranians amid major anti-government protests, the Biden administration has granted permission to lift sanctions on internet services in Iran.
The Iranian government cut off internet connectivity in the nation on Friday in an effort to stifle protests and “block the world from observing its deadly crackdown on peaceful protestors,” according to the US Treasury Department.
Wally Adeyemo, deputy secretary of the Treasury, stated in a statement that by making these adjustments, “we are assisting the Iranian people be better equipped to counter the government’s efforts to surveil and censor them.”
Mahsa Amini’s murder, which occurred after her arrest for “unsuitable dress” last week in Tehran, the country’s capital, is what initially prompted the ongoing upheaval in Iran.
Although Iranian authorities have disputed that Amini was abused while they had her in jail, her story has sparked protests across the nation and sparked a global outrage against Tehran.
Internet monitoring agency NetBlocks earlier this week reported “near-total disruption” of internet connectivity in western Iran and “partial disruption” in the capital, as well as nationwide limitations on the social media and messaging apps Instagram and WhatsApp.
The United States is stepping up its support for the free flow of information to the Iranian people, Adeyemo said on Friday, as brave Iranians take to the streets to condemn the killing of Mahsa Amini.
The US licence broadens penalty exemptions to include cloud services, social media platforms, video conferencing, and “anti-censorship technologies and related software.”
The Iranian economy has been subject to severe US sanctions since former US President Donald Trump rejected the Iran nuclear deal in 2015.
President Joe Biden is attempting to restore the agreement, which saw Iran curtail its nuclear programme in exchange for the removal of economic sanctions, but diplomatic efforts to do so have failed.