Despite his opposition to online freedom, Iranian politician joins Instagram

Despite his vocal opposition to internet freedom and several attempts to block a loosening of censorship laws, Iranian politician Ali Larijani has now joined Instagram.

The Shia hardliner, who is the chairman of the Iranian parliament, recently joined the photo-sharing site where he has posted pictures of himself including what appears to be a selfie with Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (below).

Larijani's move was cited by the Iran Human Rights group as further evidence of the regime's hypocritical stance on social media. Ayatollah Khamenei is also on Instagram and Twitter.

The Times (£) points out that several ordinary Iranian citizens have been jailed for accessing a list of websites banned by the government while senior officials appear to be exempt from punishment.

Larijani's decision also comes less than a fortnight after the country's communications minister said his department was developing software which could identify any internet user in the country at the moment they log-on.

"In future there will be no web surfer whose identity we do not know," claimed Mahmoud Vaezi

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