An ultraconservative member of Iranian parliament’s presidium, Hossein-Ali Haji Deligani says 450,000 abortions are performed annually in Iran because of the "cultural damage" cyberspace has inflicted on Iran.
Haji Deligani, who is also a member of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, also insisted on Friday, August 14, that the widespread presence of foreigners on Iranian cyberspace has caused many harms, especially on family-related issues and childbearing.
It is not clear what he meant by foreigners, but diaspora Iranians living in Europe and North America are very active on Persian-language social media platforms and are considered as agents of change by expressing secular views and Western values.
The representative of Maymeh and Shahin Shahr to Majles also maintained that out of 450,000 abortions in the clergy-dominated Iran, 125,000 are performed illegally.
However, economic hardship has been mentioned as another possible reason for abortions, but Iran's hardliners like to often blame foreign cultural influences for the country's social problems.
"Through abortion", Haji Deligani claimed, the "enemy" has targeted the Islamic Republic. Furthermore, the hardliner lawmaker called for a "more serious" approach to rein in cyberspace.
It is generally believed that the Internet has been one of the biggest challenges for the Islamic Republic rulers in the last two decades. In the past twenty years, different governments in Iran have struggled to block websites and social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Almost every Iranian using the Internet resorts to proxies and VPNs to circumvent government censorship.