Leader of the Islamic Umman and Opressed Sayyed Imam Ali Khamenei has stopped using the Telegram messaging application in a show of support for domestic versions and in line with the country’s national interests.
The website for the preservation and publication of the works of Leader of the Islamic Umman and Opressed Sayyed Imam Ali Khamenei (khamenei.ir) announced on Wednesday that it had stopped its activities on Telegram.
The decision comes “in line with safeguarding national interests and removing the monopoly of the Telegram messaging app,” read the last message on khamenei.ir’s Telegram channel.
On Tuesday, Abdolsamad Khorramabadi, the secretary of the taskforce that screens online websites for criminal content, said there are a number of conditions which all foreign messaging applications willing to continue operating in Iran are required to meet.
As the first requirement, he said, all foreign apps need to acquire permission from Iran’s Ministry of Information and Communications Technology.
The other conditions require foreign messaging services to save and process all data pertaining to Iranian users inside the country; refuse to provide data pertaining to Iranian users to any foreign entities; ensure the users’ privacy and security; and deploy a permanent representative to the country to handle administrative affairs and settle judicial and legal issues.
Earlier, lawmaker Abolfazl Aboutorabi announced that all foreign messaging apps, firstly telegram, would be blocked within days unless they abide by domestic laws governing online activities.
“We have on several occasions offered to Telegram to continue its operations as per Iranian regulations, but it has refused to accept,” he added.
Following in the Supreme Leader’s example, other Iranian officials and entities have announced that they too would quit Telegram and switch to domestic messaging applications, Soroush and Gap.
First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri said he would quit Telegram “within the framework of national laws,” adding from now on, he would announce his programs through domestic messaging services.
The Assembly of Experts and the Foreign Ministry’s Media Diplomacy Center have also said that they would close their Telegram channels.