Irananian president Hassan Rouhani is a major presence on Instagram, where his verified account regularly sends out posts to an audience of more than 2 million followers, but his account will no longer be officially allowed in the country after authorities in Iran announced plans to ban the photo sharing app, citing national security concerns.
Iran’s National Cyberspace Council has approved steps to block Instagram, according to local reports, following crackdowns on other social media apps. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Telegram are already banned in the Islamic Republic, with internet providers ordered to block access to the services.
The apps have often been used as a way to spread anti-government messages, with Telegram in particular, often cited as a national security concern.
The state prosecution service’s IT commissary, Javad Javadnia, said on Thursday that “Instagram unfortunately has not only illegal but immoral and obscene content” and authorities are presently waiting for final decision from Iran’s political leadership to implement the ban, the Isna news agency reported.