It’s not strange that Iran is the only country in the Middle East that blocks necessary services like Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp. This is part of Tehran’s policy to block or disrupt satellite television channels and prevent citizens from accessing foreign media outlets.
All the Iranians can use out of available social media tools is the messaging app Telegram which was founded by two Russian brothers and that is headquartered in Germany. Forty million Iranians use its voice messaging feature while 20 million Iranians use its text messaging feature. There is high demand over this precious service which is the only available one there as the Iranians represent one fourth of the number of Telegram users across the world.
National security concerns
What happened during the 2009 elections greatly embarrassed the political regime on the domestic and international level because those who deviated from the command’s path were figures that the regime’s leaders have accepted. The higher command had decided that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will be the president.
There is high demand over this precious service which is the only available one there as the Iranians represent one fourth of the number of Telegram users across the world
I sensed the Iranian regime’s fears and anticipated its next moves after I read a report about the influence of Telegram in Iran in the Los Angeles Times about a month ago. The report said security authorities have begun to warn users of sending political messages and forced all those who have a channel that has more than 5,000 subscribers to get a permit from the ministry of culture. Then it began to detain users who are active on this app.
A repeated charade
We do not expect surprises in these presidential elections because the candidates approved are similar to one another. Even former president Ahmadinejad – despite his value and history – was prevented from running for the elections by the supreme guide. Ahmadinejad stunned everyone when he registered to run for elections despite the supreme guide’s warning.