Tehran bans ‘Telegram’ in a bid to calm protests in Iran

Screen shot of the Telegram messaging app logo. (REUTERS)
Updated 31 March 2018
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Tehran bans ‘Telegram’ in a bid to calm protests in Iran

LONDON: Iran has decided today to ban the use of the undetectable ‘Telegram’ communication application, promising it will develop a state operated application instead.
Iranian opposition said that the latest measure from Tehran aims to stop the use of the app to curb the growing number of demonstrations protesting various causes from the deteriorating economic situation, wearing of the hijab, or discrimination in the mostly Iranian Arab region of Ahwaz.
The head of Iran’s parliament committee for National Security Alaa Borojordi has said “the ban will come into effect by 20th of April,” according to Iran’s ILNA news agency.
Borojordi added: “Iran has decided to ban the use of the undetectable ‘Telegram’ communication application but it will develop a state operated application instead.”
Iran had banned ‘Telegram’ last December to prevent anti-regime demonstrations from spreading across the country. Iranians however, were able to circumvent that ban and continued to use ‘Telegram’s’ encrypted messaging service to broadcast photos and videos of the protests.


Two Palestinians killed by Israeli fire in Gaza Strip: ministry

Updated 18 min ago
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Two Palestinians killed by Israeli fire in Gaza Strip: ministry

GAZA CITY: Israeli tank fire, at what is claimed to be a militant observation post, killed two Palestinians in the southern Gaza Strip on Sunday, the enclave’s health ministry and sources from the militant movement said.
The ministry identified those killed as Hussein Al-Amour, 25, and Abdul Haleem Al-Naqa, 28. The incident happened east of the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, a ministry spokesman said.

Separately on Saturday night, Israeli aircraft struck two targets belonging to Islamist movement Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip, but there were no reports of casualties.
The military said the operation was in response to a brief incursion across the border earlier in the day by Palestinians who immediately fled back into Gaza.
It added that the strike was also in retaliation for repeated Palestinian attempts to damage the border fence and "security infrastructure" during ongoing border protests.
At least 118 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire in the Gaza Strip since mass protests and clashes broke out on March 30, according to figures from the Gazan health ministry.
No Israelis have been killed during that time.
Low-level demonstrations along the border have continued since protests peaked on May 14, when at least 61 Palestinians died as tens of thousands of Gazans protested the US moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Israel says its actions are necessary to defend the border and stop mass incursions into its territory.
It accuses Hamas, with whom it has fought three wars since 2008, of seeking to use the protests as cover to carry out violence.