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Russian Entrepreneur Retracts Claim Of Iran Crackdown On Mobile App

  • RFE/RL

Pavel Durov (file photo)

Pavel Durov (file photo)

A Russian Internet entrepreneur who created a mobile-messaging app called Telegram says Iranian authorities have vowed not to block the application for now.

Last month, Durov said Iran blocked the app after his company refused demands to help them "spy on their citizens."

On November 4, he wrote on Telegram that the demands he had received were "fake" and "not authorized by higher authorities."

"The government denied they required any kind of spying tools from Telegram," Durov said.

He also appeared to retract allegations that Tehran had a role in the disruption of Telegram's services in October.

Durov said Telegram’s administrators now believed Iranian Communications Minister Mahmud Vaezi's claims about the the shutdown are "probable" -- that the service was cut off as the result of a cable disruption.

"My earlier claim about Telegram getting blocked may have been inaccurate (or at least premature)," he wrote.

Vaezi said Tehran had called on Telegram to block "immoral content."

Iran has one of the world's toughest online-censorship regimes, with tens of thousands of websites, including social media and news sites, being filtered over content deemed sensitive or immoral.