Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 24
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
Iran's Police Chief Brigadier General Esmayeel Ahmadi Moqaddam says that "using social networks such as Facebook, Viber and WhatsApp is unavoidable in the age of communication."
"These technologies are instruments for development in the modern world," Ahmadi Moqaddam said, Iran's official IRNA news agency reported Sept. 24.
"However the relevant organizations should inspect the cyber-space to prevent abuse of the instruments," he underlined.
Respecting some rules is necessary in using any new technology, the police chief said, adding "otherwise the losses will be greater than the interests."
Iran's Prosecutor General Gholam-Hossein Mohseni Ejei has issued a one-month ultimatum for the government to ban applications WhatsApp, Viber and Tango, in a letter sent to Minister of Communications and Information Technology Mahmoud Vaezi on Sept 20.
Mohseni Ejei criticized the contents against Iran's past Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini that have been widely circulated on the Viber, Tango and WhatsApp networks in recent weeks.
The prosecutor general warned that if the Iranian ministry of Communications fails to implement the order within one month, the Judiciary itself will take necessary action. On Sept. 22, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) arrested 11 persons in charge of spreading offensive contents against Khomeini in social networks.
About 4.5 to 5 million of Iranian citizens use WhatsApp and Viber smart phone network applications.
It should be noted that several of world's most popular networks, such as Twitter and Facebook are banned in Iran, while users are still able to access them via proxies. A proxy allows bypassing 'gates' meant to block certain sites.
About four million Iranians are using Facebook, according to the culture minister, Ali Jannati who is himself a user of the website.