ROUNDUP: Internet chaos leaves business desperate


by FG

According to AFP, Strangulation of the Internet is making life very difficult for many Iranian businesses, especially those needing to access emails and documents online through services such as Gmail. Importers were "angry or desperate" at being cut off from communicating with suppliers abroad, said one source in the trade sector. Businesses in Tehran were being forced to turn to fax machines and motorbike couriers to send or receive invoices and other documents, the source said.

"I'm waiting for urgent documents to prepare a contract with a Turkish company and my Internet is completely blocked," said the owner of a small Iranian electronic import firm who demanded anonymity.

The Hamshahri daily said the additional restrictions were "provoking disturbances in commercial and scientific exchanges in the country, with evident consequences even for urban traffic and for banking." Foreign journalists and diplomats in Iran were also finding it difficult or impossible to communicate via the web, several told AFP. The few Tehran cafes offering wi-fi connections regretfully told laptop- and smartphone-toting customers that their Internet service was off-line.

Iranians with family living abroad were despairing. "I haven't had any connection with the outside world for several days. I don't have any more contact with my son who works in France," said one mother living in Tehran.

A top conservative lawmaker in Iran, Ahmad Tavakoli, warned that "such annoying filtering will cost the regime dearly," according to the Mehr news agency. "If there are justifications on security grounds, officials should explain them clearly to the people," he said.

COMMENT: The regime claims a proposed "national Internet" would improve the situation when launched, by increasing available bandwidth. Of course everyone knows the project is just a big censorship scheme. Hopefully, the hackers' group Anonymous, which detests censorship, will do everything it can to bring down the new censorship scheme. Meanwhile over half of Iran's 75 million people are usually internet connected and I'm sure they are very pissed off today, on top of all other grievances (the police state, the economy, social policing).

For more see the following link. The header and opening paragraphs give no indication that the story is anything more than a repeat of other stories we've seen here on political intents and repercussions, so I almost missed this stuff on business impact which appears at the latter end of the story. This is the first coverage I've seen on that aspect of the internet crisis.


Most of the rest comes from Enduring America's roundup today unless otherwise stated:

TANKERS REFUSE TO LOAD IRI'S OIL: Owners controlling more than 125 supertankers, including carriers such as the Overseas Shipholding Group and Frontline Ltd. have said they will stop loading oil cargoes from Iran. OSG, based in New York, said on Thursday that its pool of 45 supertankers from seven owners will no longer go to Iran. Nova Tankers A/S and Frontline, with a combined 93 vessels, said last week they are halting operations.An European Union decision to cut supplies from Iran from 1 July appears to have been the decisive facotr, as it extended the ban to ship insurance. “It’s the insurance that’s completed the ban on trading with Iran,” said Per Mansson, the managing director of Norocean Stockholm AB, which handles tanker charters. “Last summer, many countries started to be a little bit tougher, but the insurance is the real trigger.” OSG’s last loading appears to have been on 28 January from Kharg Island.

PANIC IN MAANDARAN PROVINCE: Rah-e Sabz reports that gas supplies have stopped in western Mazandaran Province in northern Iran. Bakeries are closed, and people are rushing to buy electric fires.

(NO SURPRISE) REGIME INSIDERS FIND A WAY TO GET RICH FROM EVERYTHING, INCLUDING CURRENCY CRISIS: Reformist MP Mohammad Hossein Moghimi has said the main reason for the currency crisis is that the economics team in the Government "thinks more about politics than the economy", obeying the President. He added, "Of course the Parliament is as guilty for not standing against the Government's violation of laws."

MP Moayyad Hussaini Sadr added, "There is a huge profit behind the currency crisis, and probably some of the officials are benefiting from this." He claimed some people connected with the Government were buying foreign currencies "cheap", in the name of manufacturing companies, and then selling the currencies at a higher rate in the unofficial market. Sadr added, "People are the main losers in this economy crisis, and in such a situation, they do not trust the government and its words." (Comment: Iran's system, the people are the main losers. Meanwhile the greedy, murderous and economically incompetent Khamenei could care less so long as the IRI allows him and his clerical budies to accumulate a ton of wealth and endless power. The IRI has even turned the military from its usual purposes into nothing more than a well-bribed personal bodyguard now designed main for use against a deeply disgrunted populace.

PROTEST RALLY TOMORROW: A group of former MPs, now living in exile, have asked Iranians to attend opposition rallies tomorrow. Signatories include Fatemeh Haghighatjoo, Ahmad Salamatian, Ismael Gerami Moghaddam, Ali Mazrooei, and Hassan Yousefi Eshkevari. (NOTE: As usual Khamenei (Lady F) will have her snipers and "people beaters" ready)


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