(AFP) – May 26, 2009
TEHRAN (AFP) — Iran has restored access to Facebook after blocking it reportedly to prevent supporters of a moderate in the presidential race from using it for his campaign, the Ilna news agency said on Tuesday.
Ilna is considered close to reformist candidates standing in the June 12 election.
The agency said the Internet social networking site had been blocked after a decision "by a committee of representatives from the ministry of interior, intelligence, judiciary, parliament and some other ministries."
On May 23, it said access was blocked because "supporters of Mir Hossein Mousavi were using Facebook to better disseminate the candidate's positions."
Mousavi, a moderate, is emerging as the main rival to conservative President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who is seeking a second term in office in next month's poll.
When asked about the ban at a news conference on Monday, Ahmadinejad said he was "unaware and would investigate" the matter.
The authorities have not given any reason for initially banning access to the site and then restoring it. They closely monitor access to Internet, especially political and pornographic sites.
A few months ago, an official stated that access to more than five million websites had been blocked in Iran. However Iranian Internet surfers reportedly still find ways of accessing their favourite sites.
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