State Department Urges Social Media Companies to Suspend Iran Leaders for Cutting Internet Access

Iranians walk by the former US embassy in Tehran. Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images
Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images

The State Department on Monday urged social media companies to suspend the social media accounts of Iran’s leaders after they cut access to the Internet amid widespread protests in the country.

“We do think that there is a very strong case to be made for suspending the accounts until they turn the Internet back on,” a State Department official told Breitbart News.

Iranians found their connectivity to the Internet blocked on Saturday as protests over rising gas prices continued, described by observers as the most wide-scale Internet shutdown in the country to date.

Iran’s Supreme Leader, Seyed Ali Khamenei, continues using Twitter – as well as President Hassan Rouhani and Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif – despite officials cutting Internet for most of the public.

The State Department said they were reaching out to social media companies to suspend Iran’s leaders from the platforms.

“We don’t think that social media companies should be allowing them to use social media when those same people have taken down the Internet in Iran,” the official said.

The State Department continues to work on ways for protesters to communicate, despite government efforts to shut down the Internet, a practice that the official described as long-standing, but he declined to go into detail for security reasons

“We are doing what we can to create workarounds on the Internet,” the official said, “We have been working on getting technologies into the hands of the Iranian people that will help them communicate in times of protest.”

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