Iran Telecoms minister calls for unblocking Twitter

Financial Tribune- The Minister of Communication and Information Technology Mahmoud Vaezi has called for unblocking people’s access to Twitter.

According to local technology website Digiato, Vaezi said, “Since several Iranian officials actively use Twitter, the authorities should reconsider blocking the service.” Blocked in Iran since 2009, Twitter is an online news and social networking service where users post and interact with ‘tweets’, restricted to 140 characters.

Twitter is very popular with celebrities and politicians around the world, with President Hassan Rouhani, and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif actively using the service. Vaezi’s comments were echoed by a lawmaker, Parvaneh Salahshori. She noted the important role Twitter can play in access to reliable news.

Twitter is not very popular with Iranians, with services like Telegram messenger, which was launched a few years ago and is not blocked, becoming the defacto social media platform in the country. Data shows Telegram Messenger now has 170,000 Persian-language channels, 11,000 of which have more than 5,000 members. An estimated 45 million Iranians actively use the app.