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Telegram will be ‘unblocked if terror content removed’
January 04, 2018
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TEHRAN: Iran’s telecoms minister said on Wednesday that Telegram would only be unblocked if it removed “terrorist” content after the social media app was shut down during this week’s protests.

“I had mail exchanges with the head of Telegram and I told him that the continuation of Telegram’s activities is conditioned on the suppression of terrorist content,” Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi told state television.

“The organs of power welcome criticism on social media, but in the current climate, in particular on Telegram, there is propaganda for violent and terrorist actions,” he added.

Users were still able to bypass the restrictions using privacy software -- as they already do for blocked sites such as Twitter and YouTube -- although the internet was also slowed down in some areas, making access more difficult.

Azari Jahromi demanded on Sunday that Telegram remove a channel called Amadnews, which had around 1.4 million followers, that he said was inciting an “armed uprising.”

Telegram removed Amadnews but CEO Pavel Durov refused to block other channels that had not advocated violence.

“Iranian authorities are blocking access to Telegram for the majority of Iranians after our public refusal to shut down (Sedaie Mardom) and other peacefully protesting channels,” he said, referring to another channel accused by Iran of fomenting violence.

Azari Jahromi said restrictions would be lifted in “several days” if calm was restored on the streets of Iran.

Agence France-Presse

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