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Text Messages With Name Of Ahmadinejad Aide Blocked/Unblocked In Iran

Many believe that Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei (left) is Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad's (right) preferred choice as his successor.
Many believe that Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei (left) is Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad's (right) preferred choice as his successor.
The Iran News Network website, which is affiliated with the country’s government, reported on April 5 that SMS messages containing the last name of President Mahmud Ahmadinejad’s top aide, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, were blocked in Iran.

The filtering was reportedly removed several hours after the story was published.

The website reported that those who sent text messages containing the word “Mashaei” received a message confirming that their text was delivered. However those messages reportedly never went through.

It is not clear which organ was behind the move. Many believe Mashaei, whose daughter is married to Ahmadinejad’s son, is being groomed by the Iranian president as his potential successor.

READ NEXT: Iran's President to Hold Large Rally Amid Speculation About His Successor

Filtered content often indicates what is considered a “sensitive” issue in the Islamic republic.

Last year, when the Iranian rial fell to its lowest value in two decades, news sources reported that all text messages containing the word "dollar" in Persian were blocked. Mobile phone companies had said that they were not filtering the text messages.

The blocking of text messages was confirmed last year by lawmaker Ali Akbar Olia, who admitted that sending text messages containing specific words can be problematic.

"I don’t want to call it censorship, but sometimes some words result in text messages not going through," he said.

Iran News Network says officials should explain to the public why Mashaei's name was filtered.

Earlier this year, some news websites reported that text messages containing the slogan “Viva Spring” had been filtered in Iran.

“Viva Spring” or “Long Live Spring” is believed to be a campaign slogan for the controversial Mashaei, who has angered many hard-liners by emphasizing the importance of an Iranian doctrine instead of an Islamic one.

-- Golnaz Esfandiari

About This Blog

Persian Letters is a blog that offers a window into Iranian politics and society. Written primarily by Golnaz Esfandiari, Persian Letters brings you under-reported stories, insight and analysis, as well as guest Iranian bloggers -- from clerics, anarchists, feminists, Basij members, to bus drivers.


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