11:30 GMT +321 August 2018
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    Iran's President Hassan Rouhani gestures as he registers to run for a second four-year term in the May election, in Tehran, Iran, April 14, 2017.

    Iranian President Stands Against Ban of Telegram Messenger - Reports

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    The encrypted messaging app was banned this January, following a wave mass demonstrations in the country, but access to Telegram was restored after the protests subsided.

    "No social network or messenger was blocked by this government and won't be blocked," Iranian President Hassan Rouhani stated, as cited by the INSA News Agency. "The government wants a safe but not controlled internet. We want a free flow of information as well as the right for citizens of a free choice online."

    According to the Iranian judiciary website Mizan, Telegram messenger was blocked by the ruling of court this Monday, because it provokes "propaganda against the establishment, terrorist activities, spreading lies to incite public opinion, anti-government protests and pornography."

    The ban was expected after Iranian supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stated on his Telegram channel, he was leaving the service in order to protect the national interest.

    "This move comes ahead of plans by the authorities to block Telegram and is aimed at supporting domestic social media apps," Khamenei announced, urging Iranian officials to follow his lead.

    READ MORE: Iran's Judiciary Bans Telegram Messenger App — Reports

    These restrictions also follow the conflict around the popular app last January, when Telegram was temporarily banned in the wake of mass protests in more than 80 major Iranian cities, many of which, the government says, were coordinated via the messenger. However, the ban was swiftly lifted after the unrest calmed down.

    In 2017, Telegram founder and CEO Pavel Durov stated, that 40 million Iranian citizens used the app monthly, which meant the app was among the most popular social networks in the country.

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    Tags:
    ban, Telegram, Hassan Rouhani, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran
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