A spokesman for Iran’s foreign ministry has condemned the US Treasury for lifting sanctions on would-be internet providers seeking to expand their services in protest-hit Iran.
Nasser Kanani said on Sunday that the action taken by the Office for Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) last Friday was “another sign this country is seeking to weaken the security and stability of Iran”.
Demonstrations have rocked at least 80 cities across the country since the death of Mahsa Amini on Friday, September 16. In line with tactics employed during previous periods of unrest the regime has shut down mobile internet access in protest zones.
Traditional VPNs have not always proved effective for Iranians seeking to get around the blackouts to post videos online and contact each other. Last week Elon Musk, the owner of SpaceX, had petitioned the Treasury to allow him to implement the Starlink satellite internet service in Iran.
Nour News, the official media outlet of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, which is responsible for coordinating the state suppression of popular protests, also condemned the move.
“The United States entering into this level of interference in Iran's internal affairs is not a matter that can be ignored,” it stated, “and will be met with a definitive response from our country."