Iran to block Telegram messaging app

The Iranian government is planning to permanently block the messaging app Telegram over national security concerns and replace it with its own messaging app.

According to Iranian press agency MNA, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, chairman of Iran’s Parliament National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, announced the ban during a radio interview. Boroujerdi said the decision to block Telegram was “made at the highest levels of government”.

Boroujerdi also informed that the government would release its own messaging app later this month, citing “national security” as the reason the messaging service will no longer be accessible. He also said he hopes Iranian-made messaging apps like Soroush will replace Telegram when it is blocked eventually.

Telegram is very popular in Iran, with about 40 million people currently using the app in the country alone. The app was used extensively during the mass protests that took place late last year. Instagram, another popular social media app, was also blocked during the protests.