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Iranians access Facebook, Twitter for first time in four years

Several reports confirm widespread lifting of bans on social media, websites

Tehran blocked social media platforms in the summer of 2009 following the disputed re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Tehran blocked social media platforms in the summer of 2009 following the disputed re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Iran has given its Internet users open access to Facebook and Twitter for the first time in over four years, Reuters reported.

Tehran-based journalists yesterday tweeted that they could access the service and Jillian York, director for international freedom of expression at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said she had received several reports from Iranians using different ISPs that the services were accessible, appearing to confirm that the ban had been lifted at a regulatory level.

York also said a number of other previously blocked websites were now accessible, including that of US-based nonprofit group, the National Iranian American council.

Tehran made the move to block social media platforms in the summer of 2009 following the disputed re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, when thousands of protesters took to the streets in demonstrations organised through Facebook and Twitter.

The recent election of Hassan Rouhani, who took office last month, was marked by comments on social media that his government would take a different approach than the previous administration, on a range of issues. The government has yet to make any statement about the lifting of the ban on Web services.