'Iran setting up internal network to rival global internet'

'Wall Street Journal' reports Islamic Republic intensifying "soft war" against western culture and influence spread through web.

Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei and Ahmadinejad 311 (R) (photo credit: Reuters)
Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei and Ahmadinejad 311 (R)
(photo credit: Reuters)
A project to set up a "national" internet is underway in Iran, a move that would serve to disconnect the Islamic Republic from the rest of the world, The Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday.
The internal network, which experts see as a way for Iran to end the regime's fight for control of the internet, is expected to extend to the entire country within two years time.
The project is part of Tehran's efforts to stop the infiltration of western culture and ideas into the country, according to the report. Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has referred to this battle of cultures as the "soft war."
The new network will be compliant with Islamic Law, "a genuinely halal network," according to Ali Aghamohammadi, Iran's head of economic affairs.
Aghamohammadi added that the new network would initially work alongside the normal internet but could eventually replace the world wide web, not only in Iran, but in other Muslim countries as well.
The Stuxnet computer worm, which reportedly set back Iran's nuclear program pushed the regime to accelerate the internal internet initiative.