Instagram accounts of Iran Guards commanders blocked
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Instagram accounts of Iran Guards commanders blocked

Photo-sharing social network says it is complying with US sanctions in shutting down pages of Iranian generals

Illustrative: Members of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) march during the annual military parade, marking the anniversary of the outbreak of the devastating 1980-1988 war with Saddam Hussein's Iraq, in the capital Tehran, on September 22, 2018. (AFP/STR)
Illustrative: Members of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) march during the annual military parade, marking the anniversary of the outbreak of the devastating 1980-1988 war with Saddam Hussein's Iraq, in the capital Tehran, on September 22, 2018. (AFP/STR)

TEHRAN, Iran — The Instagram accounts of several Iranian Revolutionary Guards commanders have been blocked, Iran’s Tabnak news website reported Tuesday, with the photo-sharing website saying it was complying with US sanctions.

The United States announced on April 8 that it has placed the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the ideological army of the Islamic republic, on their list of “foreign terrorist organizations.”

Tabnak, a site close to Iranian conservatives, said Instagram blocked the accounts of Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, Major General Mohammad Bagheri and Major General Qassem Soleimani.

Access to Soleimani’s account, which was working last week, was denied on Tuesday.

Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander Gen. Qassem Soleimani, center, attends a meeting with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Revolutionary Guard commanders in Tehran, Iran, September 18, 2016. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

“Sorry, this page isn’t available,” read a message on the account.

“The link you followed may be broken, or the page may have been removed.”

Instagram also appears to have at some point suspended the English-language account of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Contacted by AFP, an Instagram spokesperson said it was operating “under the constraints of US sanctions laws.”

“We work with appropriate government authorities to ensure we meet our legal obligations, including those relating to the recent designation of the IRGC,” the spokesperson added.

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