Iran has no plans to lift its nine-year ban on Twitter

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The Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Cyberspace Council Abulhassan Firouz Abadi said on Friday that there are no plans to remove the ban on Twitter, the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported.

Twitter has been banned in Iran since 2009, following protests in the aftermath of Iran’s 2009 presidential election.

Despite the ban, many high-ranking Iranian officials have accounts and are active on Twitter.

Some of these officials include Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Firouz Abadi said that “[These] officials can be active on Twitter because they have an audience outside of Iran.”

He added that there are ongoing negotiations between Iran and Instagram, adding that the Ministry of Intelligence is representing Iran in the negotiations.

The Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Cyberspace Council did not give any further details of the negotiations.

ALSO READ: US sanctions drive Iran to cut off Internet access, replace Apps

Instagram is the only foreign social media platform that is currently not banned in Iran.

Firouz Abdi had threatened last year that if Instagram does not “cooperate” with Iran, “it will suffer the fate of Telegram.”

He had said in September 2018 that Iran’s condition for the activity of foreign messenger apps in Iran is for Iranian citizens’ information and data to be stored in Iran.

Last May, he admitted that the plan of banning Telegram with the goal of making Iranian users turn to internal messenger apps was unsuccessful, and as a result, banning Instagram is currently not on the table.

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