The Iranian president says it was not his administration that blocked the Telegram messaging service, nor is the ban approved by the government.
Hassan Rouhani wrote on his Instagram page that the policy of the eleventh administration has been to create a “safe” virtual space, not a “securitized” one.
“So far, no social network or messenger has been blocked by this administration, and will not. The recent filtering and blocking of Telegram was neither done, nor is approved by the administration,” wrote Rouhani.
“On April 30, 2018, a judicial decree was issued to block the abovesaid messenger (Telegram), and was communicated to all cell phone operators and internet service providers to disrupt connections on their own (A similar move was also done last year during the presidential election to affect Telegram’s voice call service.)” Rouhani’s Telegram statement also read.
Any move pertaining to executive affairs which is done without going through legal procedures by using force and judicial channels runs counter to the motto “Independence, Freedom, Islamic Republic” and is the direct opposite to democracy, the president further wrote.
“If a decision is made at the highest level of the Establishment to restrict or block people’s communications, the real owners of this country, i.e., the people, should be informed of the trend of affairs,” he added.