SOURCE: Iran News Update (INU)

June 11, 2013 19:24 ET

Iranian Regime Puts a Stop to Gmail Service

Increasing Internet Disruptions Throughout Iran, Media Agency Speaks Out Against Regime Practices

WASHINGTON, DC and PARIS--(Marketwired - June 11, 2013) -  www.irannewsupdate.com - Less than a week before the Iranian Presidential elections, Iran News Update (INU) has learned that access to Google Inc.'s email service Gmail has been eliminated throughout the country. Additionally, Virtual Private Networks (VPN) have stopped functioning and internet users in Iran are facing serious problems accessing various external websites. 

Critics of the election have accused paranoid mullahs of desperately trying to prevent anyone from using the internet to organize protests and demonstrations. "The Iranian Regime is ensuring they have control over the media and messaging surrounding the upcoming Presidential elections," said an INU spokesperson. "Cutting off service to Gmail and slowing down the internet connection is just one method the Regime is employing to ensure control and limit communication both in and out of the country," he added.

Regime officials at the Telecommunication Company of Iran (TCI) refuse to accept any responsibility for the current internet disruptions and instead are placing the blame on internet provider companies.

INU broke the story this morning on Twitter. As INU learns more the organization will update this story in realtime on Twitter at Twitter.com/IranNewsUpdate1 and on Facebook at Facebook.com/IranNewsUpdate.

Also, in an unprecedented move, 100 members of the Iranian press corps belonging to the Mehr News Agency, an official media arm of the Regime, issued a statement protesting actions taken by the Internet Filtering Committee (IFC). The IFC is a government group that oversees Iran's sophisticated state-mandated internet censorship program. The statement asserted the activities of news agencies and websites were being limited and the Committee had "taken decisions, without the least consultation, which is repressive in nature and unwarranted." The statement further said, "Sources not in the employment of the official media have been contacted and told either to delete specified text from their reports, or face the filtering of their websites."

INU features news, analysis and commentary on events inside Iran and the Iranian Diaspora to audiences around the world. News and information is provided in cooperation with the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), the parliament in exile of the Iranian Resistance and the PMOI/MEK. Analyses on developments on Iran and the region are provided by INU experts. Media and researchers are welcome to use INU news and commentaries, with attribution made to IranNewsUpdate.com