People in Iran were able to dodge the ban on social networking Web sites to visit Facebook and Twitter on Monday. It was the first time in the last 4 years when they were able to visit those social networking Web sites which have been banned since 2009 due to anti-government remonstrations published online on those Web sites.
The ban on the social networking Web sites was imposed after the presidential elections in 2009. Iranians were pleasantly surprised to find themselves allowed to visit Facebook and Twitter. Soon, there was gleaming hope to believe that the government had finally relaxed the ban.
On the contrary, Abdolsamad Khoramabadi clarified on Tuesday that the government was in no mood to lift the ban on the social networking Web sites. The secretary of a state committee that monitors and filters Web sites in the country, informed the pleasant surprise for some of the Iranians was caused due to some technical glitch. A few Internet service providers in Iran had permitted the access, which the government started investing on, he told Mehr news agency.
Interestingly, an allegedly moderate president joined the office on August 3, 2013. President Hassan Rohani became the 7th president of the country. Mr Rohani is one of the handful people who use both the banned social networking Web sites, Facebook and Twitter. There has been an apparent relaxed approach toward the ban on the social media since he took office in August.
Several Iranian officials created Twitter and Facebook profiles. The list includes Javad Zarif, the foreign minister of the country. People have been hopeful that the ban may eventually be lifted after the officials started using the social networking Web sites.
Even though it has been declared by the President's office that the incident happened due to a technical error, many people still have the belief that it was possible a test from the government itself. They believe that the government might be testing what would possible happen once the ban is lifted. They might also be considering whether they would be able to control the situation if they lift the ban.
Though Mr Rohani seems to be in favour of social and political restrictions in the country, any modification must be approved by people like Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei who represents the conservative clerics and security officials.
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