At the risk of sounding too deterministic, I think it reasonable to suggest that information technology is both a) absolutely crucial to competing in our modern global economy, and b) inherently democratizing in that it diminishes the power of the state to control access to information. These axioms were as true of the photocopier and fax machine as they are of the Internet today.

And so the Iranian government's choice is clear:

The Iranian government appears to have blocked access to Google's search engine and Gmail webmail service from inside Iran, according to Internet users there. ... In May, Iran said it would separate its internal networks from the Internet.