Iran may pull the plug on bloggers and Web masters just in time for general legislative elections on March 14, the International Herald Tribune reported.
Several million users will not be able to follow political news or access Web sites oprated by political parties during the largest Internet blackout in the nation's history, reported the Tribune.
Iranian officials offered differing public explanations for why the republic would restrict private access to the Internet, according to the Tribune.
"Shutting down the Internet service will depend on security plans and on the Ministry of Telecommunication," Interior Minister Mostafa Pourmohammadi told an Iranian daily quoted by the Tribune.
Another election official told the Iranian press that an Internet blackout would ensure that government online service would operate without interruptions despite recent upgrades to its lines.