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Posted: December 31, 2018

Iran restricts social media, issues warning to protesters

The Telegram messaging app was restricted in Iran on Sunday.
Carl Court/Getty Images
The Telegram messaging app was restricted in Iran on Sunday.

By Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Iran restricted access to several social media apps Sunday, including Instagram and Telegram, and warned that anti-government protesters who cause public disorder will “pay the price,” CNN reported.

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Instagram and Telegram have been temporarily “restricted” in order to ensure calm and security, state-run media outlet IRIB reported Sunday.

Independent media coverage inside Iran has been limited, but protesters have used apps to share information and post videos of clashes with police and other protests, CNN reported.

Telegram’s CEO tweeted that Iranian authorities had blocked access to Telegram for “the majority of Iranians” after the company refused to shut down peaceful protesting channels, CNN reported.

Earlier Sunday, Iranian Interior Minister Rahmani Fazli issued a stern warning that protesters will “pay the price” after the demonstrations turned deadly. CNN reported. He said the misuse of social networks by some individuals “are causing violence and fear," and that "such behavior will be smashed,” according to IRNA, Iran's official news agency.

The demonstrations, sparked by rising food and gasoline prices in Iran, began Thursday in the northeastern city of Mashhad before spreading to other cities.

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