Jan. 6 – A former president of Iran has criticized Tehran for its crackdown on anti-regime protesters and widespread government corruption, saying it should be focusing on solving the country’s problems instead.

In the video message, hardline politician Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the brutal crackdown on demonstrators was a waste of money, and called on the government to spend its resources on “suppressing people’s problems.”

Iran is currently facing an economic crisis brought on by internal government corruption and mismanagement, sanctions, and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Iran’s government said it would take legal action against anyone not authorized to sell Virtual Private Networks (VPN) following attempts by people inside the country to get around the tight internet restrictions imposed by the regime.

VPNs have been used to successfully navigate around the government’s internet bans, enabling access to external social media platforms and the sharing of videos and photos of the nationwide protests in Iran, which are calling for an end to the regime.

The regime has responded to the breaches by imposing temporary internet blackouts across provinces and regions in Iran.

And a growing number of protesters inside Iran’s prisons have refused to eat, to draw attention to their torture and ill-treatment by government officials while in detention.

At least 15 individuals are now believed to be on hunger strike, including 22-year-old Armita Abbasi, who was violently raped after being arrested and needed hospital treatment for her injuries.

Speaking about his treatment in an audio message, 18-year-old Mohammad Reza Azhar, who was arrested on Sept. 22, said the blood vessels in his eyes had burst due to severe psychological pressure.

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