Iran has announced it has completed the first phase of its plan to operate a “national internet”. An inauguration ceremony was held on Sunday by the country’s communications and information technology minister, Mahmoud Vaezi. The state news agency Irna said the initiative would offer “high quality, high speed” connections at “low costs”. But critics suggest the true aim is to tighten the authorities’ control over citizens’ use of the net.
Iran has deployed a Russian-made S-300 air defense system around its underground Fordo nuclear facility, state TV reported. Video footage posted late Sunday on state TV’s website showed trucks arriving at the site and missile launchers being aimed skyward. It did not say whether the system was fully operational.
Dangerous confrontations between Iranian and American warships in the Persian Gulf are up more than 50 percent in 2016 compared with this time last year, according to a U.S. defense official – despite the highly touted nuclear accord, as well as a recent $1.7 billion U.S. payment to Tehran.
Iran has long relied on Latin America to evade Western sanctions, including, critically, on ballistic missiles technology. Now sanctions are gone and Iran’s missile activity no longer banned, but Tehran continues to use America’s backyard to develop long-range missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads.
But things got a just a bit more dangerous for some in Iran this past week, as the country has announced it is cracking down on its citizens for actions against Islam and for infractions of fashion on display on several social media services. It seems some portion of the Revolutionary Guard has quite literally become the Fashion Police.
An Iranian nuclear scientist detained since 2010 has been executed, his family has told the BBC. Shahram Amiri’s mother said the body of her son had been returned to their hometown with rope marks around his neck, showing that he had been hanged. Mr Amiri, who was born in 1977, went missing after taking a pilgrimage to Mecca in 2009. He surfaced in the US a year later saying he had been kidnapped and put under “intense psychological pressure to reveal sensitive information” by the CIA.
Ayoub Asadi, a Kurdish political prisoner, is reportedly on the 20th day of hunger strike in Kashmar Prison (in the Razavi Khorasan province, northeastern Iran) in protest to the violation of his basic rights.
The directive by Iran s Supreme Cyberspace Council to require social messaging apps to start storing user data in Iran within a year was the result of a majority vote by people directly appointed to the body by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, a source told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. Iranian officials have previously made several unsuccessful attempts to convince the owners of social messaging apps to move their servers to Iran, but the Council s directive is the first instance of a government agency trying to force the demand.
Moshe Yalon, Israel’s last foreign minister under Netanyahu recently parted ways acrimoniously with the government. and gave this speech – “At this time and in the foreseeable future, there is not an existential threat to Israel. Israel is the strongest state in the region and there is an enormous gap between it and every country and organization around it. Therefore, it is appropriate for the leadership in Israel to stop scaring the citizens and to stop telling them that we are on the verge of a second Holocaust.” – Ya alon didn t stop there. He went on to more-or-less endorse the Iran nuclear deal.
Large technology firms are failing to provide sophisticated and country-specific user security measures, and as a result, are helping Iran s state agencies target Iranian citizens online, an investigation by the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran has found. By not upgrading their security protocols and denying Iranian users access to the latest technology tools and services to protect themselves, tech giants including Google and Facebook are inadvertently allowing Iranians to fall victim to attacks by government hackers.