In April, the Regime banned the app over its use by citizens in the ongoing Iranian uprising, hoping to cut the protesters off from each other and quell the anti-regime protests.
This has not worked, as the protesters have used various apps to subvert the blockade, but it has significantly harmed the Iranian economy, which is already shaky from decades of mismanagement and corruption by the Regime and will be further hit by US sanctions later this year.
Alireza Nader, an independent analyst on Iran, said that the ban could end up increasing rather than quelling protests.
He said: “It’s just another blow to the economy. It’s just going to get worse and worse, and unrest is going to increase. That’s the trajectory.”
Roughly half of Iran’s 80 million population were active users of Telegram before it was blocked, using it for everything from personal communication to running online stores to passing government documents between various departments.
The Regime also banned other encrypted messaging services like WhatsApp, WeChat, and Signal, while maintaining their ban on Western social media services such as Facebook and Twitter.
They’ve encouraged Iranians to use domestic apps, but, as many activists point out, Iran-made apps are likely to report on activity to the Regime and even allow the mullahs to see the content of the messages, which would make it easier to round up the Regime’s political opposition and imprison them or worse.
The Iranian uprising
Telegram may have been how the protest organisers communicated, but what caused the anti-government protests to spring up in December and spread like wildfire over 142 cities in all of Iran’s provinces?
Well, it was a mixture of different issues from unemployment to inequality to corruption, but the Iranian people agree that the Regime is the root of all problems in Iran. That’s why they are demanding regime change.
In the ongoing uprising, 50 people have been shot dead in the streets by the regime’s agents, over 8,000 have been arrested, and some have since been executed or tortured to death.
The only way to solve the Iranian people’s problem, whether political, economic, or legal, is to remove the mullahs from power and expel them from the Middle East as a whole. That’s why the people of Iran want regime change and why the Iranian Resistance will call for regime change at their Free Iran gathering in Paris on June 30.