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Iranian official calls for end to social media ban

Culture Minister Ali Jannati says all Iranians, not just politicians, should have access to Facebook and Twitter

The Facebook page of Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, who posted a status condemning the Holocaust on September 6, 2013. (Photo credit: Facebook/Screenshot)
The Facebook page of Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, who posted a status condemning the Holocaust on September 6, 2013. (Photo credit: Facebook/Screenshot)

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s culture minister is urging authorities to unblock social media networks that are widely used by government figures but remain officially banned, the state news agency said Tuesday.

The appeal reflects another point of tension between the moderate-leaning government of President Hassan Rouhani and Iran’s hard-liners. Rouhani does not have the authority to make decisions such as freeing up social media, which is seen as an internal security matter and under the sway of groups such as the powerful Revolutionary Guard.

The report by IRNA quotes Culture Minister Ali Jannati as saying all social networks, particularly Facebook, should be accessible.

Some government officials, including Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, post extensively on Facebook and Twitter. Many ordinary Iranians use proxy servers and other methods to bypass the ban.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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