The Iranian government has lifted the temporary restrictions it had imposed on people’s access to Instagram in order to prevent the escalation of violence amid the recent unrest.
The restrictions on Instagram were gradually lifted on broadband connections in many parts of Iran as of Thursday, but it was unblocked for those using their mobile phones’ internet across the country on Saturday.
This comes as Telegram messaging app is still blocked in Iran following the recent unrest. Officials have vowed to open it as well as soon as possible.
Last week, Iran imposed “temporary” restrictions on Telegram, which is an extremely popular messaging app in Iran, after the messenger refused to block a channel that promotes violence and riot in the Islamic Republic.
Telegram had actually closed the anti-Iran channel, named Amad News, for encouraging people to violence after a top Iranian official’s request. The channel, with over 1.3 million followers, was blocked by Telegram after it tried to provoke Iranian people to use violent actions against the Islamic Establishment amid the recent protests.
However, Amad News started its operation in a new channel, and Telegram refused to remove the new one, claiming that the new channel has not yet violated Telegram’s Terms of Service. This prompted the Iranian government to restrict Telegram temporarily until peace is restored to the country.
Iranian ICT Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi later declared that Telegram would not be unblocked unless it removes the “terrorist” channel; however, due to the huge number of Iranian people doing business with Telegram, including hundreds of start-ups, the messaging app is expected to be unblocked in the coming days as well.