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.
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.
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.
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.”