Washington, (EFE) .- The United States authorized technology companies this Friday to expand their services in Iran, in response to Internet cuts ordered by Tehran to stop protests against violence against women and mandatory headscarves.

“With this measure we will help the Iranian people not to remain isolated in the darkness. It is a step to significantly support Iranians who demand respect for their fundamental rights, “Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the United Nations Security Council in New York (NY, USA). EFE / Justin Lane

Specifically, the US Treasury Department, which maintains strong sanctions against Iran, has issued a general license with which “technology companies will be able to provide more digital services to Iranians, from access to the cloud to tools to improve their security and online privacy “.

Blinken: Iran fears its people

The leader of US diplomacy stressed that the Iranian authorities have cut off Internet access to most of its 80 million citizens to “prevent them and the world from witnessing their violent crackdown on peaceful demonstrations”.

The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken (c), and the United States Special Envoy for the Climate, John Kerry (d), during the 77th United Nations Assembly, in New York (NY, USA). EFE / Jason Szenes

“It is clear that the Iranian government is afraid of its own people,” said Blinken, who assured that this Friday’s general license “will broaden the free flow of information” in the country.

In a subsequent telephone press conference, a senior US administration official explained that expanding services to the cloud will facilitate access to VPNs, which will help bypass Internet censorship and blocking.

It also removes restrictions on communication services between people, something that technology companies had requested from the US authorities.

Iranian anger over the death of Masha Amini

The protests began last Friday after learning of the death of Masha Amini, 22, after being arrested by the Moral Police for wearing the veil badly, and have spread across the country.

Detail of a woman’s hand holding a drawing by Mahsa Amini and a sign reading “We don’t want an Islamic republic: Iranian women want freedom”, during a demonstration in Berlin, Germany. EFE / Clemens Bilan

State television IRIB reported the deaths of 26 people in clashes with the authorities.

The government has severely restricted the internet, with mobile networks cut from 9pm until morning for the past two days.

On Thursday, the United States sanctioned the Moral Police for the death of the young woman and seven senior security officials for the suppression of demonstrations.

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