Despite his opposition to online freedom, Iranian politician joins Instagram

Evan Bartlett@ev_bartlett
Monday 15 December 2014 14:30
Science and Tech

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).

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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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