Iranian officials have frequently called to restrict internet as the nationwide protests continue.
Ahmad Khatami, the head of the Tehran Friday Prayers, said that cyberspace was a capacity and could either be an opportunity or a crisis. “You saw that in our country it became a crisis. We say that there should be cyberspace but that the server should be inside Iran so that you can manage it,” he added. “As far as I know, all the capacities are available for this. Do not write and say that we disagree with cyberspace; no, we agree with the cyberspace when the key is in the hands of the government.” “The Iranian nation does not agree with cyberspace when the key in the hands of the Americans,” he added.
Attorney General Montazeri said on January 2, 2018, that prosecutors around the country are on the scene around the clock and were taking the necessary precautions, according to the state-run Mizan news agency.
“The arrestees are made up of two groups. There are those who were arrested on the scene, who are not major players and effective in the unrest. But those who are destructive, the intelligence and judicial apparatus will certainly deal with them,” he added.
“(Having) a free cyberspace is harmful for all aspects of our lives. The people should know that the freedom of this space is harmful to the country and families and should be organized,” he said.
Citing recent unrest in the country, Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi, said that he had told authorities many times that cyberspace would cause problems for them, the state-tun Rokna news agency reported on January 3, 2018. “Mossad and CIA mercenaries are sitting abroad and easily send messages for ten million people that tomorrow they should go out on the streets at a certain time and riot,” he added. He referred to Telegram as a “putrid swamp” adding that officials should not say that they temporarily blocked it and will unblock it again.
The state-run Fars news agency cited the head of the Center for Information and Technology at the Judiciary on January 4, 2018, as saying that telegraph had turned into a place for turmoil and sedition in the country and that there was no other option but to temporarily filter Telegram. “I warned over the past year that Telegram had become a catastrophe for society and the Islamic government which must be properly regulated by the authorities,” Hamid Shahriari said.