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Iran internet ‘disrupted’ ahead of Thursday protests

Iran internet ‘disrupted’ ahead of Thursday protests

Tehran: Internet services have been disrupted in parts of Iran amid reports that it was being cut off ahead of the planned anti-government protests on Thursday.

BBC Persian audiences reported outages, while internet monitoring service NetBlocks confirmed a drop in usage.

Semi-official Iranian news agency Ilna quoted an unnamed official as saying the action had been officially ordered.

Thursday’s agitation comes amid calls for demonstrations in memory of those killed in the protests that began mid last month after the government’s decision to raise the price of gasoline between 50 and 300 per cent.

The decision was met with widespread anger in a country where the economy is already reeling as a result of US sanctions that were reinstated last year when President Donald Trump abandoned a multilateral nuclear deal with Iran.

As protests escalated, access to the internet was almost completely shut down, the BBC reported.

Mobile phone footage which eventually reached the outside world appeared to show security forces shooting at unarmed demonstrators.

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.

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