TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - Secretary of Iran's Supreme Council of Cyberspace Abu-Alhassan Firuzabadi announced that any messenger app that wants to function inside Iran must have a representative base. “Iranian telecommunication companies pay around 5000 billion Tomans in tax to the government per year, but Telegram has yet to register itself and it doesn’t have a representative in Iran. Hence due to Economical complications we can’t provide the same privileges to them as we provide for other taxpaying companies.”
Abu-Alhassan Firuzabadi continued: “Filtering Telegram’s voice call option was mainly in consideration of other telecommunication companies, for it would compromise their business. Telegram calls are blocked but it is still permitted through broadband connections.”
When asked why video and voice calls were banned only for Telegram he replied: “Telegram is much more popular than any other similar apps and almost all active internet users have it, hence if it significantly affects national economy we cannot simply stand by.”
Stating the fact that most countries block voice communications offered by popular social apps he said: “Banning voice calls was because of its potential massive effect on telecommunications companies. Persian Gulf countries such as Saudi Arabia and UAE have also applied such restrictions in telecommunications, so have some countries in Europe."