Mashhad’s Friday Mass Imam, a hardline cleric, has slammed the government’s efforts to improve internet access for Iranians, saying it goes against the directions of the Islamic Republic’s Supreme Leader and “promotes corruption.”
The Fars News Agency reports that Ahmad Elm-ol-hoda referred to high-speed internet as a weapon in the “soft war” being waged by the U.S. and “the atheist movement” against Iranian youth.
He accused the Ministry of Communications of wreaking havoc in the country by trying to improve the quality of internet access.
Elm-ol-hoda was quoted as saying: “The leader announced that high-speed internet should be avoided, but we know that his recommendation has been overlooked and all our young people now have internet in their pockets, and this on its own promotes corruption.”
Iranian hardliners have been highly critical of the Rohani administration’s efforts to improve internet access in Iran. The Minister of Communications has been threatened with impeachment by Parliament.
President Hassan Rohani has called for the improvement in internet speed, saying its is not proper that the country’s students have to waste hours to access information for their research. He has also been quoted as saying that any restriction on internet access will only hold back the country’s progress.