OBSTRUCTION TO COMMUNICATION NETWORK IN IRAN CONTINUES
In Iran, the prohibitions introduced to the rights to communicate and obtain information by the Cultural Ministry in February remains to occupy the agenda. The website Baztab, owned by the Secretary General of the Expediency Council, Mohsen Rezai, was included in the Internet Filter System and closed down indefinitely due to the fact that it had publications incongruous to the current publishing regulations, and that it tensed the political atmosphere. Claimed to be in good relations with Hashimi Rafsanjani, the owner of Baztab, Mohsen Rezai, is said to have recently published articles against the Iranian President, Mahmud Ahmadinejad and his team, and also seemed to be closer to Tehran Mayor, Muhammad Bagher Galibaf. It is claimed that the website Baztab was closed down because of Ahmadinejad’s disturbance with the issue. In November 2005, the publications of the mentioned website, known with its providing information regarding the activities of the security forces, were prohibited because of the same reasons. It was said in the statement made by the website “Baztab” regarding the issue claimed to have resulted from the strife between Ahmadinejad government and the State Expediency Council that “we are subjected to such an accusation on the ground that in our pages, we have covered the big corruption and the financial crimes in which some members and senior officials of the judiciary got involved”. It was expressed in the statement made by the Iranian Cultural Minister on February 2007 that “the Council for the Watch of the Private News Agencies has continuously been watching the websites issuing news and the other websites that provide information flow, and a subordinate work group within the Council for the Watch of the Private News Agencies, which comprises of the officials the Ministries of Culture and Intelligence, the Iranian Radio-Television and of jurists will be in charge of filtering the websites”. In Iran, only 11 web sites with the state license carry out activity and the rest are warned about getting permission from the related authorities to be able to activate their websites.