Iran’s financial support for Palestinians angered Iranians, who want government to focus on domestic economic problems
Iranian authorities have warned protesters will “pay the price” after two people were killed and dozens arrested during a third night of unrest.
“Those who damage public property, disrupt order and break the law must be responsible for their behavior and pay the price,” Interior Minister Abdolrahman Rahmani Fazli said on state television. “The spreading of violence, fear and terror will definitely be confronted,” he said.
Several reports indicate that telecoms providers in Iran have begun blocking internet access across several cities in the country as mass protests erupted for the third day in a row.
Among the telecoms company was Hamrahe Aval, the primary Mobile Telecommunication Company of Iran (MTCI or MCI) as social media continues to play a pivotal role in documenting mass protests and subsequent brutal crackdown on peaceful protesters in the country.
The MTCI is considered a firm jointly held by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and other firms controlled by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
Iran’s two main internet and communications service providers are the Telecommunication Company of Iran (TCI) and Irancell. TCI and its subsidiaries, including MCI, are owned by Tosee Etemad Mobin Company which has close links to Iran’s IRGC.
Iranians across the country want higher wages and an end to alleged graft. Many also question the wisdom of Iran’s foreign policy in the Middle East, where it has intervened in Syria and Iraq in a battle for influence with rival Saudi Arabia.
The country’s financial support for Palestinians and the Lebanese Shi’ite group Hezbollah also angered Iranians, who want their government to focus on domestic economic problems instead.