Iran President says NO to Whatsapp ban


by CBR Staff Writer| 07 May 2014

Hassan Rouhani opposes Internet censorship committee’s move in the country.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has reportedly opposed the proposed ban on Whatsapp, saying that the mobile app cannot be blocked until an alternative is developed.

The ban was approved by the 13-member Committee for Determining Criminal Web Content, but was vetoed by the president, reported AFP citing an official at the telecommunications ministry.

The news agency has reported the Sharq Daily as saying that Rouhani has ordered the ban to be stopped.

Telecommunications Minister Mahmoud Vaezi was quoted by the paper as saying, "The issue of banning WhatsApp was raised. The president has ordered a halt on (banning) the site.

"Until the time that we have a replacement for these sites, the government opposes filtering them."

According to media reports in Iran, the ban was being contemplated since February this year when Facebook bought Whatsapp.

Local media earlier this week reported committee secretary Abdolsamad Khorramabadi as saying, "One of the reasons for approving the filtering of WhatsApp was the adaptation of this software by (Mark) Zuckerberg, the American Zionist manager of blocked site Facebook."

There have reportedly been differences of opinion between the government and the committee, which regulates the internet in the country.

Ban on Facebook is in place in the country since 2009 elections.

The veto by Rouhani is being seen as part of his promise during last year's elections to be more tolerant towards social, cultural and media issues, reported AFP.

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