Iran president criticizes blocking of Telegram messaging app

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Tehran: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is criticizing the blocking of the popular Telegram messaging app in the Islamic Republic, saying those in his administration weren’t the ones who shut off access.

The app, believed to be used by half of Iran’s 80 million people, was crucial in fanning nationwide protests in December and January.

Authorities temporarily blocked the app to calm the demonstrations, but Iran’s judiciary on Monday ordered internet service providers to block access to the app.

Since then, users largely haven’t been able to access it.

In a post on photo-sharing app Instagram, which isn’t blocked in Iran, Rouhani said late Friday: “No social network or messenger were blocked ‘by this government’ and won’t be blocked.” The semi-official ISNA news agency also reported his remarks.

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