The internet has been restored in several Iranian provinces, according to semi-official news agencies ISNA and Fars on Thursday, days after the authorities ordered a blackout as violent protests swept the country.
Hormozgan, in Iran’s south, was the first province to reportedly regain connection. “The internet connection has been restored in Hormozgan province and all social media applications are active again,” said ISNA, earlier in the morning.
“The internet is being gradually restored in the country,” the semi-official news agency Fars said, quoting unidentified informed sources as saying.
Fars, quoting the National Security Council that had ordered the shutdown, said web connectivity had been approved “for some areas and, according to reports so far, fixed line internet has been restored in Hormozgan, Kermanshah, Arak, Mashhad, Qom, Tabriz, Hamadan and Bushehr provinces, and parts of Tehran.”
Over the weekend, Iran’s clerical rulers shut down the internet, in an apparent move to curb protesters over gasoline price hikes and prevent protesters from posting footage of unrest on social media.
The Iranian government previously said it would unblock the internet only when authorities are sure it will not be ‘abused’ during violent demonstrations against a petrol price hike.
The shutdown has made it difficult to ascertain the level of casualties or assess whether the regime’s claims that it had defeated the protests are true.