U.S. calls on Facebook, Twitter to take down Iranian leaders’ accounts 

Source: U.S. calls on Facebook, Twitter to take down Iranian leaders’ accounts – Middle East – Jerusalem Post

“It is a deeply hypocritical regime. It shuts down the Internet while its government continues to use all these social media accounts,” said US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook.

People protest against increased gas price, on a highway in Tehran, Iran November 16, 2019.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
U.S. State Department has called on social media giants such as Facebook and Twitter to take down the accounts of Iran’s Supreme leader Ali Khamenei and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani as Tehran’s authorities are carrying out a forceful crackdown against widespread protests, which included shutting off the internet.

“It is a deeply hypocritical regime. It shuts down the Internet while its government continues to use all these social media accounts. So one of the things that we are calling on are social media like Facebook and Instagram and Twitter to shut down the accounts of Supreme leader Khamenei, Foreign Minister Zarif and President Rouhani until they restore the Internet to their own people,” US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook told Bloomberg on Saturday.

A clip from the interview has been shared by the State Department’s Twitter account.

Department of State

@StateDept

Special Representative for Iran Hook urges @Facebook, @instagram, and @Twitter to suspend the accounts of the Iranian regime’s leadership, who’ve shamelessly used social media to spew propaganda while shutting down the internet for ordinary Iranians.

Video incorporato

“Right now, the regime shut down the internet because they’re trying to hide all of the death and tragedy the regime has been inflicting on thousands of protesters around the country,” he further said.

Protests broke out all over Iran after the government announced that it would double the price of gasoline earlier this month.

From Ahwaz to Mashhad to Shiraz, tens of thousands took to the streets. Iran’s regime was initially caught off guard by the mass protest. Buildings were burned, and security forces did not respond. The regime cut off the Internet and began shooting people 24 hours later.

For 113 hours, from November 16 until Thursday, Iran was in the dark. Net Blocks, which tracks Internet connectivity, showed that at the 113th hour, a small return to connectivity had begun in Iran.Radio Farda, the Iranian branch of the U.S. government-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, reported that Tehran’s government claimed that five people have died since the beginning of the protests, but independent human rights groups stated that the toll have reached at least 100 people.

According to AFP, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram did not immediately to a request for comment.

Seth Frantzman contributed to this report.

 

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