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While the Obama Administration claims that under President Hassan Rouhani Iran has moderated, the despotic regime never ceases to prove moderation is a pipe dream. The latest kernel of moderation news comes from the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, which reports the Iranian government has blocked the WhatsApp messaging service because it is owned by a Jew, Mark Zuckerberg. What’sApp was purchased two months ago by Facebook, which was founded by Zuckerberg.

Haaretz says the ban was announced by secretary of the Committee for Determining Criminal Web Content, Abdolsamad Khorramabadi, who was quoted as saying, “the reason for this is the adoption of WhatsApp by the Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who is an American Zionist.”

The ban seems to have triggered an open dispute with the government, which has been attempting to implement moderate social policies. “The government is completely against the ban on WhatsApp,” Communications Minister Mahmoud Mehr told the state news agency IRNA.

In other words the Rouhani government does not want Whatsapp banned, but the real power in the country rests with the Muslim clerics led by supreme leader Ali Khamenei.

The committee has not yet made ad ecision on filtering other smartphone applications, such as Viber, Tango and Instagram, Khorramabadi said. Iran blocked access to another social network application, WeChat, last December.

Twitter and Facebook have been banned in Iran since 2009, when ex-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s disputed re-election victory sparked off massive protests that gained momentum with the help of organizers using social media.

Iranian users are still able to access them via proxies, though it requires a degree of technical knowledge.

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