Iran’s police issues statement on upcoming parliamentary elections

Posted on February 23, 2012

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iran parliamentIran’s police has released a statement regarding the upcoming parliamentary elections in Iran, Fars news reported. The elections will be held on March 2. The Guardian Council of Iran earlier approved more than 2,700 of 4,877 registered candidates.

Country’s police is ready to prevent any chaos at the upcoming elections, Chief of Iran’s police Ismayil Ahmadi Mogaddan said. He added that all electoral districts are being monitored by police and security forces.

Mogaddan also said that 8,500 members of Basij armed forces will be helping police to prevent any troubles at the elections.

With parliamentary elections scheduled for next week, Iran has begun blocking Internet services, Web security experts say, adding to concerns that government leaders hope to shut off Iranians from the rest of the online world, according to MSNBC.

The Tor Network, which provides free software for anonymous use of the Internet, reported that on Feb. 9, Tehran began filtering keywords and throttling or shutting down access to sites that use a form of security called Secure Socket Layers, or SSL. The protocol, which encrypts data being sent back and forth between servers and users, is used by such popular sites as Gmail and Facebook. Web addresses protected by SSL begin “https,” instead of “http.”

Activists in repressive countries often use Tor services to get around such restrictions, and before Feb. 9, Iranians were the second-largest users of Tor. But because Iran targeted the core SSL protocol, “Tor stopped working too,” the organization said.

Iran’s Communications and Technology Minister Reza Taghipour said Monday that a firewalled “national Internet,” which Tehran has been promising since as early as 2006, would be launched in the spring. Internet security analysts and open-Internet activists say the “national Internet” would act as a closed intranet sealing Iranians off from large chunks of the web. Similar systems are known to be in use in China and North Korea.

The Iranian news agency Mehr quoted Taghipour as saying at a cyberdefense forum in Tehran that “the first phase of this network will become operational in the month of Khordad,” which straddles May and June.

The Tor network said it was continuing “to research and investigate solutions with the assumption that SSL will eventually be blocked nationwide inside Iran.”

During the last presidential elections in Iran, the clashes between the police and voters occured, since many believed the government cheated on the votes. Hence, additional security measures are being applied to the upcoming parliamentary elections as well.

In the 2009 presidential elections in Iran, current president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gained 62.63 percent of votes. His main rival Mir Hussain Musevi gained 33.75 percent of the votes. Musevi accused the government of falsifying the vote.

Protests of people dissatisfied with the election results caused clashes between police and opposition supporters. During the clashes some people were killed, others got arrested.

The arrested people were accused of assisting terror groups, placing of explosive devices, transportation of fire-arms, bombs, premeditated attack on police officers and volunteers, attack on universities and police stations, sending photos to foreign print connected with meeting, robbery, violation of order, causing damage to public and public property.

Some Western countries have expressed concern over events in Iran.

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Posted in: iran politics