Iranians say story on plan to cut Internet access is a hoax

Government says interview with Communications Minister Reza Taghipour published on April 1 was in fact a hoax.

Are the Iranians planning to cut access to the Internet in August and replace it with a national intranet that will make it easier to monitor? Not according to a statement by the ministry of communication and information technology.

AFP is reporting that an original April 1 story which triggered the report was untrue.

"The report is in no way confirmed by the ministry" and is "completely baseless," AFP quoted a spokesman from the country's ministry of communication and information technology.

A person answering the phone at the Iranian Interests Section of the Islamic Republic in Washington, D.C., said nobody was available for comment.

Iran has talked about its intention to build a "national information network" but the government denied the quote attributed to its Communications Minister Reza Taghipour talking about an August launch for a "clean Internet" featuring government-sponsored search engines and e-mail services.

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