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Iran's government threatens access to social media amid protests

Iranian students protest at Tehran University yesterday during a demonstration driven by anger over economic problems. Photo: AP

As pro-reform protests grow to tens of thousands and spread across Iran, the repressive, authoritarian government is warning of an "iron fist" response, and threatened access to social media:

Pavel Durov, the CEO of Telegram, a popular messaging app, tweeted: "Iranian authorities are blocking access to Telegram for the majority of Iranians after our public refusal to shut down ... peacefully protesting channels." Telegram then blocked one of its channels — amadnews — which was encouraging users to engage in violent protests and use Molotov cocktails against police officers.