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Iran's President Tells Clerics Internet Vital


Iranian President Hassan Rohani said Iran "cannot close the gates of the world for the younger generation."

Iranian President Hassan Rohani said Iran "cannot close the gates of the world for the younger generation."

Iranian President Hassan Rohani has urged the country's clerics to be more tolerant of the Internet and new technologies.

Rohani, in a September 1 speech broadcast on state television, said Iran "cannot close the gates of the world for the younger generation."

Rohani, a relative moderate elected last year, has vowed to expand media and Internet freedoms.

He has faced opposition from hard-liners who say third-generation (3G) cellular-phone network services, in particular, allow "immoral images" to be shared widely and easily.

In recent weeks, however, the government has allowed more Iranian operators to provide 3G service.

Iranian authorities banned many social networks including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube after the opposition used them during protests in 2009 against the reelection of hard-line former President Mahmud Ahmadinejad.

Based on reporting by AP and BBC

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