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Ali Khamenei quits Telegram

Staff Writer |
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that he would no longer use the messaging app Telegram.

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The announcement came as rumours continued that Iran would soon block Telegram, built by Russian tech guru Pavel Durov and the most popular social media service in the country with some 40 million users - roughly half the population.

"In line with safeguarding national interests and removing the monopoly of the Telegram messaging network, the website for the preservation and publication of the works of Grand Ayatollah Khamenei will stop its activities in this network from this moment," the last message on Khamenei's Telegram channel says.

It directed users to accounts on Iranian messaging services, including Soroush and Gap, which the authorities are trying to promote, AFP reported.

Khamenei issued a statement last week saying any breaches of online privacy were "haram", meaning they were religiously forbidden. This was interpreted as seeking to encourage the use of domestic apps, which many Iranians fear will be monitored by intelligence services.

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