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Iran reportedly blocks Telegram, Instagram amid protests

Telegram CEO Pavel Durov says it's unclear if the ban on the messaging app is permanent or temporary.

Protest in Iran
People gather to protest in Tehran on Dec. 30.
Stringer/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Iran appears to be blocking Telegram and Instagram amid ongoing protests in the country.

Telegram CEO Pavel Durov tweeted Sunday that Iranian authorities were blocking access to the popular messaging app "for the majority of Iranians after our public refusal to shut down … peacefully protesting channels."

Protests began Thursday in Iran over economic woes plaguing the country, reported CBS News, and people were using Telegram and Instagram to share information and images of the demonstrations. (Disclosure: CBS News and CNET are owned by the same company, CBS.) So far, two people have reportedly been killed in the ongoing protests.

Telegram said it did suspend an account on Saturday that was calling for violence against police in Iran during the protests. In a post on Sunday, Durov wrote that the channel has been allowed to reassemble after its admins pledged not to promote violence.

"Yesterday we had to suspend @amadnews, a public channel that started calling its subscribers to use Molotov cocktails and firearms against police," wrote Durov in a post Sunday. "The admins of the channel reached out to us after the fact, apologizing for breaking our rules and pledging not to promote violence in the future."

Durov was unclear whether the block on Telegram in Iran was permanent or temporary. The company didn't respond to a request for additional comment.

Instagram has also reportedly been blocked in the country. The Facebook-owned photo-sharing app didn't respond to a request for comment. 

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