Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi
Mohammad Azari Jahromi, born in Jahrom in 1981, is an Electrical Engineering graduate
– Technical Expert at the Ministry of Intelligence, 2005-2009
– General Manager for Security of Communication Systems at the Regulatory Authority Organization, 2009-2014
– A Member of Non-Executive Board of Directors at Rightel Communication Service Company, 2014-2016
– A Member of Board of Directors in Telecommunication Infrastructure Company 2014-2016
– Deputy Minister of Communications and Information Technology, and the Chairman of Board of Directors at Telecommunication Infrastructure Company, 2016- present
– A Member of the Regulatory Authority High Commission of the Cyberspace Supreme Council
– A Member of the High Commission for the Promotion of Content Production, affiliated to the Cyberspace Supreme Council
– Observer Member of the Commission for Radio Communications Regulatory Authority, a member of the Communication Committee of Iran’s Crisis Management
– Executor of the Project of Performing the Protective, Social and Cultural Duties as regards Communication and Technology Communication
– Responsible for Iran-Iraq ICT Joint Commission
– Responsible for Iran-Russia ICT Joint Commission
– Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran in APT Meeting
– Minister of Communication and Information Technology, August 20, 2017-present
Human Rights Violations:
As the Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi is responsible for violating the right of Iranians to freedom of access to information by filtering the social media networks Telegram and Instagram and restricting access to the internet in Iran during the December 2017-January 2018 protests.
From 31 December 2017, the third day of the protests, access to the internet in Iran was severely disrupted. The vast majority of Internet users could only connect to the Internet by using VPNs. At the same time, the social media networks of “Telegram” and “Instagram” were filtered.
Telegram and Instagram are amongst the most popular social media platforms in Iran. During the protests, much of the information about the demonstrations and other relevant developments emerged via social media, particularly Telegram.
The Telegram channel, “Amad News,” has more than 1.5 million members, and was very active during the protests, publishing videos captured by protesters. It was blocked after the Communications Minister, Azari Jahromi, asked Telegram’s directors to shut it down. Telegram’s CEO Pavel Durov explained that it was blocked because it “called for violence against police”.
Following the blocking of Amad News by Telegram, Telegram users set up another channel called “Sedaye Mardom” (Voice of People) to replace it. When Telegram refused to shut it down, Iranian authorities blocked the entire Telegram network.
Telegram’s CEO Pavel Durov tweeted: “Iranian authorities are blocking access to Telegram for the majority of Iranians after our public refusal to shut down https://t.me/sedaiemardom and other peacefully protesting channels.”
Azari Jahromi had described opposition channels like Amad News as “terroristic” and made the lifting of filtering from Telegram conditional upon “removing terroristic content”.
US Department of Treasury has designated Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi
On November 22, 2019 the US Department of Treasury designated Mohammad Javad Azari, Iran’s minister of Information and Communication Technology, due to his involvement in the internet blackout during the nationwide protests that swept the country between November 15th-20th. In its statement the Treasury wrote: “ Internet access in Iran, managed by Azari Jahromi’s ministry, was blocked for several days in November based upon what Iranian authorities describe as national security concerns in the wake of anti-regime protests throughout the country.” The statement also mentions that the recent internet blockage is similar to the one which took place during the 2017-18 nationwide protests, also under Jahromi’s direct oversight.
*Last update: November 22, 2019*