Iran begins ban on Telegram; ICT min. denies resignation

TEHRAN, May 01 (MNA) – This morning Telegram was blocked in Iran on mobile data and the ban will be extended to all internet service providers soon; meanwhile ICT Minister Jahromi denied rumors on his resignation.

In a move to protect national security, Iran’s judiciary issued a court order to block the popular messaging app Telegram with 40 million active users in Iran.

Rumors then began pouring in that the ICT Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi has handed in his resignation during a meeting held behind closed doors with President Rouhani this morning.

Speaking to ISNA, Jahromi denied the rumors, adding “voicing my expert opinions [about the ban] does not mean I’m considering to resign.”

“We have said many times before that blocking apps and websites is not the only way,” he said. “We have also informed relevant organizations of the challenges that filtering may cause.”

He went on to add, “there are reports that the Telegram ban in Russia has caused some issues that may also happen in Iran.”

In a tweet this morning, the ICT minister wrote that “citizens' access to sources of information is unstoppable, even if the use of one particular software is stopped. New software will be discovered and the free circulation of information will commence once again.”

In a separate tweet, Jahromi stressed that “excluding oneself from the modern world will bring about backwardness.”

He followed that tweet by saying, “however, one must remember that there is no international standard in place to safeguard the sovereignty of countries over cyberspace software.”

MS

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