The US Has Called on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to Block Iranian Leaders AccountsWorld | November 25, 2019, Monday // 14:50| views
The US State Department has called on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to block the accounts of Iranian regime leaders until internet access is restored, AFP reported.
Iranians have been cut off from the world for more than a week after nearly the entire network was blocked by Tehran authorities amid a wave of demonstrations.
"It is a deeply hypocritical regime,” Brian Hook, special US representative for Iran, said in an interview with Bloomberg posted on the official State Department Twitter account. “It shuts down the internet while its government continues to use all of these social media accounts.
“So one of the things that we are calling on are social media companies like Facebook and Instagram and Twitter to shut down the accounts of Supreme Leader Khamenei, the Foreign Minister Zarif and President Rouhani until they restore the internet to their own people.”
Violent protests erupted in Iran on November 15, hours after a reform of the gasoline subsidy scheme was announced, which authorities say should have benefited poorer households but was accompanied by a sharp rise in fuel prices in a deep economic crisis, reminds AFP.
“The regime shut down the internet because they’re trying to hide all of the death and tragedy that the regime has been inflicting on thousands of protesters around the country,” Hook said.
On Friday, the United States announced sanctions on Iranian Information Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi for what it said was his role in the “vast censorship” of the internet, The Israel Times reported.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged protesting Iranians to hand over to the US any evidence of "repression" by the Tehran regime, assuring them that Washington would punish these abuses.