06:44 GMT28 October 2020
Listen Live
    Middle East
    Get short URL

    Last week, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei deleted the highly popular messaging app Telegram, having opted for a domestically-produced alternative.

    Tehran is advancing the new “Soroush” instant messenger, encouraging people to abandon the Telegram network “in line with safeguarding national interests.” Among peculiar features on the new Iranian-made app are multiple emojis, featuring women wearing veils, suggesting going pray, holding a picture of Khamenei, as well as signs wishing “death” to America, Israel and freemasons.

    READ MORE: WhatsApp to Ban People Under 16 From Using Service in EU

    The Soroush app has become quite popular among the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps: five “lucky” people, taking part in the competition, may receive gold coins for signing up. It was announced on the force’s Telegram channel.

    The new messenger, currently claiming some five million users, is somewhat reminiscent of Telegram, as it allows people to join channels, follow news and manage business on the social platform. However, many are concerned over privacy issues.

    Unlike Telegram, Soroush does not use end-to-end encryption, which prompted jokes on social media: users poked fun at the app’s three-tick message receipt notification, saying it confirmed that the text was read not only by sender and receiver, but also by an intelligence agent.

    READ MORE: Viber Says Became 'Collateral Victim' of Telegram Blocking in Russia

    Earlier this month, Ayatollah Khamenei and Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani gave up Telegram to protect the country’s national interests and “remove the monopoly of the Telegram messaging network.”


    Russian Media Watchdog Blocks Some Google IPs in Bid to Stop Telegram Messenger
    'Putin Shirtless Challenge' Moves on as Durov Posts Torso Amid Telegram Row
    Viber Says Became 'Collateral Victim' of Telegram Blocking in Russia
    Iran's Supreme Leader Stops Using Telegram, Officials to Use Domestic Messengers
    Telegram CEO to Spend Millions of Dollars in Fight for 'Digital Freedom'
    Telegram, messaging app, Iran
    Community standardsDiscussion