State prosecutor in Iran on Tuesday insisted that Twitter remained banned in the country, refusing a request by the communication minister to lift the ban.

“Twitter belongs to our American enemies. … Therefore, the Twitter ban will not be lifted,” Deputy Chief
Attorney-General, Abdolsamad Khoramabadi, said.

The minister should endeavour to promote local internet services instead of promoting U.S. platforms, Khoramabadi said, according to the Fars news agency.

At age 36, Mohammad-Javad Jahromi is the youngest member of President Hassan Rowhani’s cabinet.

He has repeatedly advocated for a free and open internet in his role as communication minister.

He had lodged his request for Twitter to be allowed in the Islamic republic, arguing that the country’s justice system was out of touch with reality.

Several prominent Iranian figures, including Rowhani, Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif and some ayatollahs, have official Twitter accounts.

Even supreme leader Ayatollah Ali-Khamenei has had comments tweeted in his name, though he does not use the service himself.

Social media sites such as Twitter, Telegram, Instagram and Facebook have been a thorn in the side of the Iranian political regime for years, since they are used by critics to spread dissent and arrange demonstrations.

Many Iranians, however, get around the bans by using VPN tunnelling.

Khoramabadi himself announced in July that 30 million people in the country are evading internet bans.

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