Iran has created thousands of pro-regime user accounts on the Internet, said the commander of the Basij Gholamreza Soleimani on Saturday, the official Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported.
“The presence of revolutionary forces in cyberspace has improved, and the Basij has been able to organise 1,000 cyber battalions using motivated and specialist youth,” said Soleimani.
A battalion, on average, consists of around 500 soldiers, which could mean that the Basij has deployed around half a million pro-regime user accounts online.
“The enemy has expressed concern over the organised presence of revolutionary youth in cyberspace on several occasions, and that reflects the momentum that has been created. This presence will expand and be enhanced,” added Soleimani.
He did not provide any details about the size and the source of funding used by the Basij for such a large number of users.
The majority of social media networks, including Facebook and Twitter, are banned in Iran.
Twitter has been banned in Iran since 2009, following protests in the aftermath of Iran’s 2009 presidential election.
Despite the ban, many high-ranking Iranian officials have accounts and are active on Twitter.
Some of these officials include Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
Twitter Inc had removed thousands of accounts linked to coordinated, state-backed activities it believes were from the Iranian government on June 13 and archived them to its public database launched last year.