Iran’s crackdown on social media for protestors against the regime is “not good,” according to President Trump.
“Iran, the Number One State of Sponsored Terror (sic) with numerous violations of Human Rights occurring on an hourly basis, has now closed down the Internet so that peaceful demonstrators cannot communicate,” Trump tweeted. “Not good!”
Thousands of protestors have taken to the streets of cities throughout Iran since Thursday, denouncing economic conditions and government officials. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has tried to strike a conciliatory tone, while the regime also closed down secure messaging apps used by the protestors.
"Iranian authorities are blocking access to Telegram for the majority of Iranians after our public refusal to shut down [Sedaie Mardom] and other peacefully protesting channels,” Telegram’s Chief Executive Officer Pavel Durov tweeted Sunday.
Two people have died in the protests. A local government official blamed the fatalities on the protestors. The Iranian government has avoided an aggressive crackdown on the protests, in a break with past practice.
"We are a free nation and based on the Constitution and citizenship rights, people are completely free to express their criticism and even their protest,” Rouhani said Sunday, per state-run media. "We must not allow an atmosphere to be created in the country under which supporters of the revolution and people will be concerned about their lives and security."