Iranians Now Can Surf The Net, Join Facebook
As Iranian authorities continue to stifle Iranian citizens’ access to information, the United States of America today issued a general license authorizing the exportation to Iran of certain services, software, and hardware incident to personal communications.
In a press statement, U.S. State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki says the United States is taking a coordinated effort to enhance the ability of the Iranian people to access communication technology.
She says the new license will help Iranians communicate through social media, text messaging and mobile-phone videos to counter the regime’s repression of freedom of expression.
U.S. State and Treasury departments administered the sanctions imposed on consumer electronics since 1992. But with the new lifting of the sanction, the new license will allow sales to non-government consumers involving U.S. hardware such as mobile telephones and laptop computers, and software such as antivirus programs.
“As the Iranian government attempts to silence its people by cutting off their communication with each other and the rest of the world, the United States will continue to take action to help the Iranian people exercise their universal human rights, including the right to freedom of expression.” – Ms. Psaki
Empowering Iranian Citizens By New Access To Communication Technology
According to Ms. Psaki, the people of Iran should be able to communicate and access information without being subject to reprisals by their government.
She indicates that to help facilitate the free flow of information in Iran and with Iranians, the Department of the Treasury, in consultation with the Department of State, is issuing a General License today authorizing the exportation to Iran of certain services, software, and hardware incident to personal communications.
She explains that this license allows U.S. persons to provide the Iranian people with safer, more sophisticated personal communications equipment to communicate with each other and with the outside world.
“This General License aims to empower the Iranian people as their government intensifies its efforts to stifle their access to information.” – Ms. Psaki
In addition, the General License would not authorize the export of any equipment to the Iranian government or to any individual or entity on the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list.
Iran Known For Restricting Freedom Of Expression
Reports say Iran has jailed 45 journalists since 2012.
The US is calling on the Iranian government to protect the right of media freedom for all its citizens.
At the US Virtual Embassy Tehran page, one can see Faces of Iran site that highlights citizens imprisoned for their religious or political beliefs.
The US has highlighted the case of Zhila Bani-Yaghoub from Iran where she was an editor of the “Focus on Iranian Women” website. She has been jailed one year at Evin Prison for articles she wrote during the 2009 presidential election.
Zhila Bani-Yaghoub was charged with “spreading propaganda against the system” and “insulting the president.”
She has also been banned from practicing journalism for 30 years.
Previously, she has been tried and acquitted on similar charges three times since 2009.