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Iran’s ‘domestic Internet’ schedule slips

Government ministries to unplug ‘next month’

By Richard Chirgwin, 6 Aug 2012

Iran’s leader Ayatollah Khamenei had best make the most of his time on Twitter and Instagram, since the country’s telecommunications minister is doggedly pressing ahead with his program to cut the country off from the Internet. In the fullness of time, as Sir Humphrey Appleby would have put it.

In spite of Khamenei’s membership of Twitter and Instagram, the country’s telecommunications ministry says various ministries are going to disconnect from the Internet to protect sensitive information, according to The Telegraph.

Telecommunications minister Reza Taghipour, speaking at the Amir Kabir University in Tehran, said disconnecting key ministries would make sure their information “won’t be accessible to” the “one or two” countries hostile to Iran, The Telegraph reports.

Iran has previously announced plans to disconnect itself from the Internet and promote its own Islamic network, something that’s met with skepticism in the outside world.

The plans certainly seem to be on a constantly-sliding window: if the April report was accurate, which AFP told El Reg at the time was not so, the cutoff was due to happen this month. Now, Iran’s telling The Telegraph its timetable is over the next 18 months.

Back in April, Reporters Without Borders noted that the plan has been “frequently announced and always postponed” – something echoed by The Telegraph. ®