Every week we’ll be bringing you the highlights of Iran’s tech scene in the past week. This week, we covered the price growth of electronics in the Iranian market, Jahromi’s response to Soroush messaging app, Rouhani’s confidential letter to Jahromi and the Central Bank’s unclear policies towards cryptocurrencies.

Price Growth of Electronics in the Iranian Market

After the recent turbulence in the country’s currency market, a notable price increase can be seen especially in electronics since they are mostly imported. The Iranian government tried to stabilize the situation by unifying the country’s official and open market exchange rates. However, Importers’ Associations of electronics claim that the government is not fully operative in the matter. 

According to Tasnim, the head of Mobile Phone Importers’ Association has stated: “Until today, there has not been any given [government unified] currency to the importers of mobile phones, tablets, and accessories by the government”. He continued that in the past few months, mobile phone importers have not yet submitted any orders which has caused the increase of the prices. “Currently we have a 30 to 50 percent price increase in mobile phones’ market. In the end, he stated that the Importers’ Association has been negotiating with the Central Bank for a solution, but no immediate measure has been taken.

Jahromi Responds to Soroush Criticizing the Country’s Lack of Sufficient Infrastructures 

In the past few days, Iranian users of one of the local messaging apps, Soroush, faced connectivity issues for some time. The CEO of this local messenger expressed the issue due to some technical problems along with the lack of support of some of the network operators or lack of sufficient infrastructures that has not been addressed by the authorities. The ICT Minister, Jahromi, reacted to this claim and said that essential cooperation has been made with the local messenger, Soroush, and also with the other ones as well. 

Soroush’s CEO continued the argument by naming some of the infrastructures that has not yet been implemented such as providing CDNs in operators, cloud services and space storage. In response, Jahromi said that what was appointed by the Supreme Council of Cyberspace in supporting local messaging apps is being done and will be continued.  

Related: 6 Issues Facing Local Messaging Apps in Iran

President Rouhani’s Confidential Letter to the ICT Minister

According to Fars News, a member of the Supreme Council of Cyberspace revealed the details of Rouhani’s confidential letter relating to the messaging apps to the Minister of ICT. In this letter the president obligated the minister of ICT to a serious encounter with the immoral sites and channels that are in contrast with the public chastity, organizing the VPNs, effective approach to anti filtering softwares, removing the exclusivity of foreign messaging apps and supporting the local ones.

According to ITMEN, this letter was written before Telegram was banned in the country.

Central Bank’s Unclear Policies towards Cryptocurrencies 

According to Mehr News, in “Analyzing basic concepts of cryptocurrencies; Blockchain and its functions” conference, different authorities emphasized on the necessity of the government and the private sector’s acceptance of blockchain technology. Also, the unclear and ambiguous policies of Iran’s Central Bank towards cryptocurrencies was criticized and new policies and regulations in this field was demanded.

Related: Controversies over Iran’s Central Bank Banning Cryptocurrencies

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