Iran: Access to the internet on mobile phones has been cut in the night from Saturday to Sunday in Iran,
where the authorities are facing since Thursday at demonstrations against economic difficulties and against political power.
Police on Saturday dispersed youths protesting against power in Tehran following the government’s warning against “illegal rallies” on the third day of the protest movement.
In the night, the internet was cut on cell phones at least in Tehran, media reporters said. Millions of Iranians consult the internet on these phones.
In the middle of the day, dozens of students gathered outside the main entrance of Tehran University to protest against power, but the police dispersed them with tear gas.
Subsequently, hundreds of pro-government students took control of the university entrance chanting “Death to the seditious,” according to videos posted on social networks.
In the late afternoon, hundreds of people demonstrated elsewhere in the university district, chanting slogans hostile to power. They were also dispersed by the riot police.
The Mehr agency, close to the conservatives, has posted on line on the encrypted messenger Telegram, followed by nearly 25 million Iranians, videos showing demonstrators attacking the mayor of the second district of Tehran and overthrow a police car.
“Troublemakers in Iran”
Other media reported destruction in the capital, denouncing “troublemakers”.
Videos broadcast on Telegram by foreign-based and opposition-linked channels show thousands of protesters shouting “Death to the dictator”. They present these protests as having occurred in particular in the cities of Khorramabad, Zanjan or Ahvaz, in western Iran.
According to these sources, several people were reported shot dead in the western province of Lorestan during clashes with the police.
This information was unverifiable in the immediate future, and the local media kept silent about new gatherings in the provinces.
On Twitter, Telecommunications Minister Mohammad-Javad Jahromi accused Telegram of encouraging the “armed uprising”.
Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli called on the population not to participate in “illegal gatherings”. And several officials have hinted that protest rallies were organized from abroad.
“The enemy wants to once again create a new plot and use social networks and economic problems to foment a new sedition,” said a crowd of auditors in Tehran an influential religious, Ayatollah Mohsen Araki, cited by the agency Fars, of conservative tendency.
Massoumeh Ebtekar, Iran’s vice-president for women’s affairs, warned protesters on Twitter. “Although people have the right to protest, protesters need to know how they are being directed,” she wrote.
She posted images from Twitter accounts based in the United States and Saudi Arabia supporting the protests in Iran.
Faced with the country’s economic difficulties, isolated and subjected for years to international sanctions for its sensitive nuclear activities, protests took place on Thursday and Friday in several provincial cities including Mashhad, the second largest city in Iran.
The number of protesters was initially limited to a few hundred, but this is the first time that so many cities have been affected by such a movement since 2009, when a protest movement against the re-election of ultra-conservative President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was violently repressed..
The power has also mobilized tens of thousands of people across Iran Saturday to mark the anniversary of the big rally prorogue which had led in 2009 the end of this movement.
For the first time Saturday, state television aired footage of the protests on Thursday and Friday. She said it was necessary to hear “the legitimate claims” of the people. But she also denounced the media and “counterrevolutionary” groups abroad who seek to exploit these gatherings.
Dozens of people have been arrested since Thursday but most have been released, according to TV.
US President Donald Trump, who had already denounced the arrests on Friday, said in a tweet on Saturday that “oppressive regimes can not last forever.”
“The day will come when the Iranian people will be faced with a choice,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
And the White House spokeswoman, Sarah Sanders, warned: “The days when America turned away from the oppression of the Iranian regime are over. America is with the Iranian people.
The Foreign Ministry in Tehran said that the Iranian people do not give “any value (…) to the opportunistic statements” of Washington.
Saturday, the reformist daily Arman headlined “Alarm Signal”, while calls to the government are increasing to end the economic difficulties.
Hesamoddin Ashna, cultural advisor to Iranian President Hassan Rohani, said on Twitter that, given the “significant challenges” Iran faces, “unemployment, inflation, corruption,” people have the “right to to be heard”.