Internet improvements are in store for Iran

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TEHRAN — Only a handful of countries rival Iran for having the slowest Internet speeds in the world. Simple online tasks can take hours, infuriating some who see the sluggishness as emblematic of a broader paralysis.

‘‘The way they block bandwidth here is like a virtual dam,’’ said Reza Mohammady, a Web designer.

But now Iran is promising to change. “The work has already begun,’’ President Hassan Rouhani declared recently, ‘‘and by the grace of God, it will continue.’’

By the end of March, the government says, average bandwidth will double — although even that step would leave Iran ranked about 135th in the world, up from its current 170th, according to comparisons published by

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