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Iran Rethinks Facebook Under Rouhani

Iranian ministers are implementing a social media strategy, which is being challenged in some conservative quarters.

TEHRAN, Iran — On Saturday. Sept. 14, the Facebook page of Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif was hacked for a few hours. A passionate post in support of those killed in the 2009 post-election unrest, along with harsh criticism directed at the Islamic system and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was written on Zarif’s behalf. A few hours later the comment was deleted and Zarif wrote that his page was “illegally entered” and, “If this situation continues, I might have to shut down my Facebook page.”

More and more Facebook accounts appear claiming to belong to members of President Hassan Rouhani’s cabinet, and they are encountering problems and creating controversy, surprisingly forcing the Iranian government to re-examine its views against a medium that was much maligned after the 2009 election protests.

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