Iranian ministers open pages on banned Facebook

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s entire Cabinet has opened Facebook pages in what is seen as a move toward greater openness – even though the social media site is blocked in the Islamic Republic.

The Facebook pages of 15 ministers could be viewed in Tehran through a proxy server. Newspapers on Monday hinted the move might herald the lifting of some Internet barriers.

All but one minister signed up this August after the inauguration of centrist- and reformist-backed President Hasan Rouhani, who has also opened a page.

Hard-liners see the Internet as a possible corrupting force, but many Iranians use proxies to access banned sites.

“It seems the `key'” – Rouhani’s electoral symbol in his presidential campaign – “may turn the lock of (Internet) filtering,” the pro-reform Shargh daily said.

By The Associated Press


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