FILE - A man holds a smartphone connected to a Wifi network without internet access, at an office in the Iranian capital Tehran, Nov. 17, 2019.
FILE - A man holds a smartphone connected to a Wifi network without internet access, at an office in the Iranian capital Tehran, Nov. 17, 2019.

Iran has shut down mobile Internet access to overseas sites in several provinces, a day before possible protest rallies.

The shutdown on December 25 was ordered by "security authorities," Iran's semiofficial news agency, ILNA, reported, quoting a source at the country's Communications and Information Technology Ministry.

According to the source, the shutdown covered the Alborz, Kurdestan, and Zanjan provinces in central and western Iran and Fars in the south.

"According to this source, it is possible that more provinces will be affected by the shutdown of mobile international connectivity," the news agency said.

It comes as social media posts and some relatives of people killed in unrest in November over gasoline price hikes have called for renewed protests and commemoration ceremonies for the dead on December 26.

Riot police try to disperse protesters as they rally on a highway against increased fuel prices, in Tehran, Iran, Nov. 16, 2019.

Amnesty International has said that at least 304 people were killed in the state crackdown on the protests last month.

Internet access was shut down all over the country for days at the height of the unrest, but images were smuggled out of fatalities and scenes of violence.

Iranian officials have accused "thugs" connected to "enemies" abroad and the United States, Israel, and Saudi Arabia of involvement in the protests. Iran has shut down mobile Internet access to overseas sites in several provinces, a day before possible protest rallies.

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