Iran’s communications minister Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi. (MEHR)

August 10, 2020

Iran’s Minister of Information and Communications Technology Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi announced that the ban imposed on Twitter since the “Green Movement” protests in 2009 should be lifted.

Twitter should be legal in Iran, said Jahromi in statements carried by the state news agency, adding that the social media platform is banned because it is blacklisted by the judicial and security authorities, but this is due to a review process.

The minister, and many other people in Iran, described the ban as ridiculous, especially that many high-ranking officials and members of the government use the site, including Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, President Hassan Rouhani, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Speaker Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf and a large number lawmakers and ministers.

Jahromi, 37, is the youngest minister in Rouhani’s government, and he assumed his position in August 2017 after serving as supervisor of social media content at the Ministry of Intelligence.

Reports over the past two years suggested that Jahromi is among the candidates to succeed Rouhani in the 2021 presidential elections, especially after Khamenei affirmed the desire for a “young” government.

This is not the first time that the Minister has made strong calls to ease the ban on social media, even though he is accused of being behind the block on Telegram messaging application. Observers also blame him for the internet cut-off during the protests in Iran last November.

The Iranian authorities block thousands of websites in the country, but most people overcome the ban by using software and phone applications.

A study showed that more than half of Iranians use at least one of the banned social media networks in the country, namely Facebook.

Asharq Al-Awsat

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Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.