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Iranian govt bans state bodies from using Telegram app, Khamenei shuts account

Iranian govt bans state bodies from using Telegram app, Khamenei shuts account

From now on, all state institutions will rely exclusively on government-sanctioned messaging apps, Reza Javaheri, head of the Strategic Center for the Exchange of Information Security (which functions under the auspices of the Iranian presidency), was quoted as saying.

The Iranian government has banned state bodies from using the Telegram instant messaging app as Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's office said his account would shut down to protect national security, ISNA reported.

"In line with safeguarding national interests and removing the monopoly of the Telegram messaging network, the website for the preservation and publication of the works of Khamenei will stop its activities in this network from this moment", said the last message on Khamenei's Telegram channel. His office updates the accounts with photos and his latest speeches. Telegram is the country's most widely used app, with approximately 40 million Iranians (nearly half the country's population) estimated to be it.

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Ayatollah Khamenei said hostile powers employ sophisticated tactics to damage Iran, including relentless efforts to manipulate the calculations of Iranian officials, weaken religious beliefs of the Iranian people, create economic problems and foment security chaos inside the country.

Earlier this month, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, chairman of Iran's National Security and Foreign Affairs Committee, announced plans to launch a domestically-developed messaging service - "Soroush" - to replace Telegram by April. 20.

Tehran imposed a ban on Telegram when protests spread across dozens of cities in the beginning of the current year. It is also the population's main social media source since Facebook and Twitter are effectively blocked in Iran.


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