Report: Iranians use Israeli-made app during protests

The app was invented by Israeli company Waze Mobile in 2008 and sold to Google for nearly $1 billion in 2013.

By World Israel News Staff

Iranian demonstrators used an Israeli-made Waze app to coordinate their traffic jams on Friday, according to The Jerusalem Post, citing the Italian daily La Repubblica.

The Italian newspaper reported on Sunday that the protesters managed to communicate where to drive and leave their cars to maximize the disruption using Waze, says The Post.

On Friday, the Iranian government announced that it would double the price of gasoline. In response, protesters took to the streets and staged traffic jams that were coordinated via the Waze app.

NetBlocks, an internet blockage observatory NGO, tweeted on Saturday that the Iranian government blocked the internet in an attempt to control information, silence protesters, and prevent people from communicating and organizing.

“Iran is now in the midst of a near-total national internet shutdown; realtime network data show connectivity at 7% of ordinary levels after 12 hours of progressive network disconnections as public protests continue,” NetBlocks tweeted.

The app was invented by Israeli company Waze Mobile in 2008 and was sold to Google for nearly $1 billion in 2013.

In 2017,  Iran’s Fars News Agency reported that Teheran temporarily blocked the Waze app because it was invented in Israel.

“The Iranian government long feared that the Waze app was developed by the Mossad,” Middle East economic analyst Doron Peskin said in a phone interview with Calcalist at the time.

After Iran unblocked the app in late 2017, Israel’s official state Twitter handle in Persian poked fun at the decision.

“Now that the block on Waze has been lifted – is it no longer a Mossad app?” the tweet said at the time.

On Saturday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressed his support for the protests.

“After 40 years of tyranny, the proud Iranian people are not staying silent about their government’s abuses,” Pompeo said.

“We will not stay silent either. I have a message for the people of Iran: The United States hears you. The United States supports you. The United States is with you,” he tweeted