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Year-Old Virtual US Embassy in Iran Tallies Its Hits and Misses

A virtual US embassy provides Iranians with news and services, but is no substitute for the real thing, reports Barbara Slavin.
EDITORS' NOTE: Reuters and other foreign media are subject to Iranian restrictions on leaving the office to report, film or take pictures in Tehran.

A woman uses an iMac computer in a shop at a mobile and computer shopping complex in northern Tehran January 18, 2011. Although there were no queues outside Tehran's computer stores when Apple's iPad hit the market last year, the latest must-have gadget has quietly appeared in shops, despite tightened economic sanctions. On a recent cold winter's evening, th

When a surge of hits from Internet Protocol (IP) addresses in Nigeria pop up on the US Embassy Iran website, the US State Department is not puzzled but pleased.

Nigeria has no appreciable Iranian population, so the Obama administration figures that the hits are coming from Iranians seeking to circumvent their government’s efforts to block the site.

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