Iran has banned the use of Telegram, a cloud-based instant-messaging application, by state institutions, Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency reported Wednesday.
From now on, all state institutions will rely solely on government-sanctioned messaging apps, Reza Javaheri, head of the Strategic Center for the Exchange of Information Security (which functions under the auspices of the Iranian presidency), was quoted as saying.
Telegram, which currently boasts more than 200 million users worldwide, is widely used in Iran.
It was developed by a private firm registered in the U.K. founded by Russian entrepreneur Pavel Durov.
According to Javaheri, the decision was taken in line with a Wednesday presidential decree stating that all state-run organizations would henceforth be banned from using the application.
Earlier this month, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, chairman of Iran’s National Security and Foreign Affairs Committee, announced plans to launch a domestically-developed messaging service -- “Soroush” -- to replace Telegram by Apr. 20.
Earlier Wednesday, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei announced that he would begin using a homegrown messaging app -- instead of Telegram -- “with a view to protecting our national interests and supporting Iranian social-media applications”.
Iranian Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri quickly followed suit, likewise announcing his decision to close his Telegram account.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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