Iran Human Rights and Telecommunications

Iran Human Rights and Telecommunications

History & State

Islamic Republic Day: April 1, 1979

Head of state: Ali Khamenei

Head of government: Hasan Rouhani

Political system: Theocratic Republic

Democracy Status Index (BTI): Rank 126 of 137 (2020)

Corruption Index (CPI): Rank 146 of 180 (2019)


In Iranian cities there is a nationwide network of public telephones, both card and the older pay phones. Phone cards are available at most kiosks and newsagents and are not very expensive.

Telephone calls abroad can be made through telephone exchanges, which are available in all major cities, or by direct dialing (with the exception of Israel). International prepaid cards are also easily available nationwide. In addition, you can make calls abroad very cheaply in internet caf├ęs, although the sound quality fluctuates here.

The current prices for calls to Iran can be found on the Internet. According to zipcodesexplorer, the country’s international dialing code is 0098.

The network coverage for cell phones is good everywhere in the cities, but in rural areas there are always dead spots. However, even in cities it happens regularly that phones are temporarily unavailable. This applies to both cell phones and landline phones. European mobile operators do not work in Iran, but some have roaming partners, and Swisscom has a roaming contract with an Iranian provider. The two largest Iranian wireless service providers are KFZO and Mobile Telecommunications Company of Esfahan.

The Internet is now also available in large parts of the country via fiberglass, WLAN, ADSL or mobile data packets (3G / 4G) since the networks have been expanded considerably in recent years. However, communication is not always easy, as popular means of communication such as Facebook or Skype are not accessible or only accessible to a limited extent. Even a VPN client or a proxy server, which were the means of choice a few years ago, hardly offer any access to the free Internet today.

In spite of this, the Internet is extremely popular in Iran, and the number of Internet cafes is constantly growing. In this way, cheap access to the Internet is possible without any problems in almost all cities, but the speed is relatively slow and many sites are blocked. The computer keyboards are mostly Persian and English. Internet access from your own home is also possible using prepaid cards. The cards can be bought at most kiosks.

The Iranian Post is responsible for sending letters and parcels – nationally and internationally. This is represented with branches across the country and is generally quite reliable. The prices for international shipping have increased noticeably in the last few years, this applies to air and ship mail. In addition, some country-specific prohibitions must also be observed at the Iranian post office.

Iran Young woman from Mashhad smoking a water pipe

Human rights

Estimated GDP: $ 452.3 billion (2018)

Per capita income (purchasing power parity): US $ 5,500 (2018)

Human Development Rank (HDI): 65 (of 189) (2019)

Proportion of poverty (national poverty line): 18.7% (2019)

Distribution of income (Gini coefficient): 38.8 (2018)

Economic Transformation Index (BTI): Rank 127 of 137 (2020)

When it joined the United Nations in 1945 – Iran is thus a founding member – Iran practically accepted the general human rights convention. Chapter 3 of the Iranian Constitution recognizes all human rights. Regardless of the terminology used there, which was adopted from various European constitutions in the Iranian one at the beginning of the 20th century and has been retained until today, there are ultimately fundamental differences between the state-Iranian and the Western understanding of human rights. Since the Iranian signature of the “Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam ” in 1990 this has also been official.

According to Islamic understanding, God grants people certain rights through the instrument of the state, but to the collective and not to the individual – more human rights than human rights. Ultimately, what matters is the community’s wellbeing. Therefore it is hardly possible for the individual to assert these rights against the state, and thus ultimately against God. In Iran, the practical human rights situation is very poor, the state regularly violates human rights according to the Western definition, but also repeatedly violates those defined by Islam.

The Freedom House counts Iran in its Map of Freedom 2019 as one of the “not free” states. The Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, an association of human rights activists inside and outside Iran, summarizes the various human rights violations in Iran. Amnesty International’s documentation archive also collects reports on human rights and their violations in Iran, which can be downloaded from the individual annual reports. There are also a number of other human rights organizations that deal with the situation in the country.