The EU announced the expected decision: Iran’s Censoring Tech Firm Removed from Sanctions List

Despite protests by Iranian democracy activists, the European Union has removed ArvanCloud, an Iranian technology firm accused of censorship, from its human rights sanctions list.

According to the official gazette of the European Union, Arvan Cloud (also known as Abr Arvan; Noyan Abr Arvan Co.; Arwan Company; Arvancloud) has been removed from the sanctions list. The company had been sanctioned since 2022 for its role in internet censorship in Iran.

As Iran International previously reported, it was known that the EU was preparing to delist the company following a complaint to the European Court of Justice. The company has also been pressuring European governments through political channels to reverse the decision. ArvanCloud also took steps to expedite this decision by announcing the termination of its contract with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Claim: They did not censor, they helped

A source close to European officials told Iran International that ArvanCloud’s international supporters erroneously claimed that the company played an important role in providing millions of Iranian citizens with access to free internet during the 2022-2023 Women, Life, Freedom protests. In other words, they claimed that they were not actually censoring but helping to overcome censorship.

This claim seems to be one of the reasons for the EU’s decision to lift sanctions against ArvanCloud.

ArvanCloud controls 49 percent of Iran’s cloud space market and continues to host many of the Islamic Republic’s most important websites, including the Presidency, IRNA news agency and the Ministry of Islamic Guidance.

Germany reviews EU decision on ArvanCloud sanctions