The Week in Review: February 23rd- March 1st

March 1 – The commander of the Islamic Republic’s powerful military wing the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps said the eradication of Israel from the world’s “political map” was the only way to guarantee the safety of Muslims around the globe.

Hossein Salami made the statement against a backdrop of escalating conflict in the Middle East, ignited by the Oct. 7 attack in Israel by Hamas which led to the deaths of more than 1,000 Israelis.

Israel has responded to the attack with a full scale military offensive against Hamas in Gaza, which has claimed the lives of more than 30,000 Palestinians according to the Hamas-run health ministry.

A document appearing to show the names of 44 journalists being targeted by Iran’s regime was leaked by hacktivist group Edalat-e Ali, and included the names of reporters working at the BBC, Radio Farda and Iran International.

The report suggested that several journalists had been sentenced in their absence by Iran’s judiciary for alleged offenses including engaging in “propaganda against the Islamic republic.”

The document was made public alongside more than 3 million others all alleged to be from government files. The authenticity of the documents could not be verified.

And Iran’s government announced a fresh slew of internet regulations including criminalizing the use of virtual private networks (VPNs). Buying and selling VPNs was made illegal in 2022.

The move is believed to be part of a drive to steer Iranians towards local internet platforms.

The ban on using VPNs is likely to affect the majority of Iranians, who use the software to access free internet servers as well as banned platforms such as Instagram, X, YouTube and Telegram.

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