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The Iranian Regime’s Favorite Sanctions

Balatarin

“Knowledge is power. Information is liberating.” – Kofi Annan

 

Technology and innovation are celebrated in the United States like no other country in the world. We foster a culture of entrepreneurship and openness that encourages people to dream big, take risks and build amazing companies that help sustain and vitalize our economy. We are a nation that embraces progress to better the human condition. However, sanctions against Iran that prevent ordinary Iranians from accessing communication tools are antithetical to this spirit and play directly into the hands of an oppressive Iranian regime that views technology and the flow of information as an existential threat.

 

With the sham Iranian presidential elections just weeks away and lessons learned from the 2009 Green Movement protests as well as Arab Spring uprisings at the forefront of our minds, the Iranian regime is intent on further restricting and choking off any and all communication channels that threaten its hold on power. According to a recent report by opposition website Kaleme, Internet speeds have increasingly slowed as the June elections approach and popular Google services, including Gmail and Google Plus, have been restricted over the past few weeks. In a further attempt to strangle the free flow of
information, the regime has blocked access to “illegal” virtual private networks (VPNs), which are widely used by the people to circumvent government filtering. These actions clearly show that those in power in Iran are keenly aware of the disrupting potential of such services as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Skype, and so on.

 

Unfortunately, biting U.S. communication sanctions actually bolster the repressive Iranian regime’s goal of further isolating its population. Many of the goods and services, which in 2009 helped the Green Movement organize and document the regimes crackdown, have been placed under sanction. With that, we have lost a space for the greater good, an important intelligence resource, and a real-time pulse on the true sentiments of the people, which ultimately translates into increased opacity. What can be seen as overreaching sanctions include bans on cell phones, laptops, commercial software and encryption tools like VPNs, services including satellite internet access and web hosting, and financial transactions that facilitate the transfer of these goods and services. To put in perspective the scope and degree of the current U.S. communication sanctions, even online dating services like Match.com are barred from permitting Iranians in Iran from registering on their site. Perhaps it is safe to assume that dating is not a national security risk. 

 

With the existing sanctions in place, Iranians aspiring for democratic reform may very well look at us and think, “With friends like these, who needs enemies?” Freedom of information and the technological tools that facilitate exchange are pillars of open and prosperous societies; thus it begs the questions: Are such monolithic sanctions furthering our strategic and economic interests? Does the current incarnation of our policies support the Iranian people who seek greater freedoms and inclusion in the larger world community? It seems that we have taken one of our greatest strengths and tied it firmly behind our backs.

 

With the Iranian presidential elections only a few weeks away and an increasingly heavy handed Iranian regime bent on preventing its people from meaningfully participating in the political process, organizing, peacefully protesting, accessing information and sharing freely with the rest of world, it is paramount that we urge and support President Obama to take action and ease sanctions on benign communication tools and technologies. Such inexact sanctions not only undermine the democratic aspirations of many Iranians; in fact, they run counter to the very spirit of our nation—a nation that finds resource, resolve and strength in liberty that we, at our best, aspire to complete with enduring fidelity.

 

 

Action Alert: Please click here to tell Obama to lift sanctions on communications tools.

Balatarin

Saïd Amin @SaidAmin

Saïd Amin is a tech entrepreneur born in Tehran, Iran. He is the Founder of World Singles Networks (ArabLounge, IranianPersonals, etc.), a leading provider of niche online dating services and the owner of Iranian.com.

Seattle, WA

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SaidAmin

Saïd Amin Saïd Amin is a tech entrepreneur born in Tehran, Iran. He is the Founder of World Singles Networks (ArabLounge, IranianPersonals, etc.), a leading provider of niche online dating services and the owner of Iranian.com.

Hot off the press! "NIAC Applauds Lifting of Communications Sanctions for Iranians" -- it's not official yet but sounds like it's just a matter of time before it is a fait accompli. http://bit.ly/ZeJTiJ

maziar58

maziar 58 Maziar

Mr. Saiid
Is your source of ://bit.ly
Originated from Lybia?

SaidAmin

Saïd Amin Saïd Amin is a tech entrepreneur born in Tehran, Iran. He is the Founder of World Singles Networks (ArabLounge, IranianPersonals, etc.), a leading provider of niche online dating services and the owner of Iranian.com.

Hello Maziar. The ".ly" suffix is a top level domain assigned to Libya and is being used by Bit.ly, a venture backed US based company.

Roger_Rabbit

Roger_Rabbit Framed

Great news for Siamak Namazi and the folk in Atieh Bahar: Nokia-Siemens contract can now be renewed!

irajkhan

iraj khan Peace Is The Way

Mr Amin,

Your points regarding the lifting of technology sanctions against Iranian people is well taken.

As Mr Jamal Abdi stated today:
“This also shows that sanctions that hurt ordinary Iranians can be lifted if we press policymakers and work with them to find solutions. Serious issues remain to be addressed, including sanctions that are preventing medicine from reaching ordinary Iranians, and we look forward to progress on this front.”
http://www.niacouncil.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=9263&security=1&news_iv_ctrl=-1

Shirzadegan

Siavash

US and EU officials say the sanctions are not meant to harm the general population. The Wall Street Journal cites David Cohen, US Undersecretary of Treasury, as saying, “Sanctions do not cover the importation of food, medicine, or medical devices. . . . This has been a long-standing policy of the US.”

you can read more of this article here:


http://www.iranhumanrights.org/2013/04/medicine-and-healthcare/

The money which was supposed to spent on medicine for cancer patients were spent on importing luxury cars of Porsche for "Agha Zadeh" who are the sons of ruling criminal mullahs. you can read that here:

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/medicines-dry-up-in-iran-but-porsches-still-roll-in/story-fnb64oi6-1226499587185

That was the reason Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi, who publicly said before she was abruptly relieved of her post for exposing this fact.

SaidAmin

Saïd Amin Saïd Amin is a tech entrepreneur born in Tehran, Iran. He is the Founder of World Singles Networks (ArabLounge, IranianPersonals, etc.), a leading provider of niche online dating services and the owner of Iranian.com.

Thanks!

SaidAmin

Saïd Amin Saïd Amin is a tech entrepreneur born in Tehran, Iran. He is the Founder of World Singles Networks (ArabLounge, IranianPersonals, etc.), a leading provider of niche online dating services and the owner of Iranian.com.

Thank you.

Shirzadegan

Siavash

4 years ago during our demonstration in Tehran all the cell phones were not able to communicate. They all were blocked by latest Chinesse technology which provided those devices to ruling criminal mullahs in Iran.
4 years ago, there was not sanction against communication devices by U.S, but all communication devices were disabled. Blocking communication has nothing to do with sanction. Sure, all communication devices will be blocked on that day regardless of U.S sanction. China is backing them up.
N.I.A.C is testing it's capability as far as their influence on Obama administraion desicion. NIAC is testing their own agenda rather than having feeling for uprising our people.