00:32 GMT +307 December 2019
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    Brian Hook, special representative for Iran, leaves the podium after speaking about the creation of the Iran Action Group at the State Department, in Washington, Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018

    US Special Representative Urges Social Media Giants to Block Iranian Leadership’s Accounts

    © AP Photo / Cliff Owen
    Middle East
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook has urged Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to block accounts of the Iranian leadership until the latter lifts Internet access restrictions introduced in the wake of protests against spike in gasoline prices.

    "Special Representative for Iran Hook urges @Facebook, @instagram, and @Twitter to suspend the accounts of the Iranian regime’s leadership, who’ve shamelessly used social media to spew propaganda while shutting down the internet for ordinary Iranians. #Internet4Iran #IranProtests," the US State Department tweeted on Saturday, posting Hook’s video statement.

    In his speech, Hook labeled Iran as a "deeply hypocritical regime," accusing it of trying to "hide all of the death and tragedy" it has been allegedly inflicting on the protesters.

    The statement comes a day after the US unveiled sanctions against Iran's Information Minister Mohammad-Javad Asari Jahromi for "his role in the Iranian regime’s wide-scale internet censorship." On Saturday, the Iranian Foreign Ministry slammed the new sanctions, arguing that Washington in reality had no respect for freedom of information when it came to other nations.

    Protests broke out in several Iranian provinces last week over the government’s decision to suddenly increase the price of gasoline. Some of them turned violent and resulted in casualties among protesters and security forces.

    The US has openly voiced support for protesters, prompting Tehran to accuse it of masterminding the rallies.


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