- By Joshua Keating
Joshua Keating is associate editor at Foreign Policy and the editor of the Passport blog. He has worked as a researcher, editorial assistant, and deputy Web editor since joining the FP staff in 2007. In addition to being featured in Foreign Policy, his writing has been published by the Washington Post, Newsweek International, Radio Prague, the Center for Defense Information, and Romania's Adevarul newspaper. He has appeared as a commentator on CNN International, C-Span, ABC News, Al Jazeera, NPR, BBC radio, and others. A native of Brooklyn, New York, he studied comparative politics at Oberlin College.
"Iran will soon create an internet that conforms to Islamic principles, to improve its communication and trade links with the world," the head of economic affairs with the Iranian presidency, told state news agency Irna in an interview.
Ali Aqamohammadi explained that Iran’s new network will operate in parallel to the World Wide Web and will replace it in Muslim countries in the region.
"We can describe it as a genuinely ‘halal’ network aimed at Muslims on a ethical and moral level.
"The aim of this network is to increase Iran and the Farsi language’s presence in what has become the most important source of international communication," Aqamohammadi said.
Given Iran’s high-levels of Internet use and flourishing blogosphere, the idea of the country developing its own internal network a la North Korea’s Kwangmyong seems patently absurd. But it’s certainly possible that Iranian leaders are looking east, attempting to emulate China’s efforts to, as Tim Wu puts it, build an "Internet that feels free and acts as an engine of economic progress yet in no way threatens the Communist Party’s monopoly on power."