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Iranians Arrested Over Khomeini-Insult Texts

Eleven people have reportedly been arrested in the southern Iranian province of Shiraz after allegedly sending insulting SMS text messages about Islamic republic founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

The "Haft e-Sobh" daily on September 22 quoted Esmail Mohebipour of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as saying the arrests were made after social-networking applications on mobile phones such as WhatsApp, Viber, Line, and Tango were monitored.

Last week, Iran's judiciary instructed the government to ban such mobile-phone applications after the discovery of messages criticizing Khomeini.

Fars news agency quoted Telecommunications Minister Mahmud Vaezi as saying the ministry's engineers were working on ways to remove "criminal" content.

Iran already has a policy of filtering online content, with Internet users often using illegal software to access popular websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP