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.
Iran had previously cut off internet access across several cities when the popular Green Movement protests took place against what many considered unfair elections in 2009 when hardliner incumbent president at the time, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, won relection.