Iran Dismisses Internet Unplugging as Western Propaganda
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran said reports that it is planning to shut down the internet and replace it with home-grown web sites were untrue and just served the western propaganda.
Some online reports said on Tuesday that Iran plans to cut access to the internet and replace web sites such as Google and Facebook with Iranian alternatives, but the Iranian government called such reports Western propaganda.
The reports derived from a supposed interview with Communications and Information Technology Minister Reza Taghipour published on April 1 was in fact a hoax, the ministry said in the statement on its own site www.ict.gov.ir.
"The report is in no way confirmed by the ministry" and is "completely baseless," the ministry statement said.
The hoax report quoted Taghipour saying that Iran would from August launch a "clean internet" that would block services like Google and Hotmail and replace them with government-sponsored search engines and e-mail services.
The ministry statement slammed the false report as serving "the propaganda wing of the West and providing its hostile media with a pretext emanating from a baseless claim".
Iran, however, does have plans to establish a "national information network" billed as a totally closed system that would function like a sort of intranet for the Islamic Republic.
Taghipour said in early April that the plan would be fully implemented by March 2013.
But he did not explain whether access to the Internet would be cut, or whether Iran's "national information network" would exist alongside the world wide web.