Iran’s new President may be loosening the government’s tight grip on its people — if ever so slightly. Four years after both Twitter and Facebook were blocked following a postelection uprising and ensuing crackdown in 2009, the social-media platforms were back online as of Monday evening.
Since Hassan Rouhani took office in August, the reform-minded cleric has taken to tweeting on his own official Twitter account, along with the country’s Foreign Minister. The President has used social media to comment on the crisis in Syria, congratulate Iranian athletes and bid holiday greetings to the global Jewish community on Rosh Hashanan. However, Rouhani was notably quiet on Monday night and did not tweet an official announcement concerning the unblocking of the social-media outlets.
Is Iran’s Berlin Wall of internet censorship crumbling down? I am tweeting from Tehran from my cell without restrictions.
— Thomas Erdbrink (@ThomasErdbrink) September 16, 2013
After years of confrontation with America and Israel during Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s presidency, Rouhani appears to be making inroads with the international community. During a nationally televised interview broadcast over the weekend, U.S. President Barack Obama confirmed that he has been exchanging letters with the new Iranian President to discuss the Syrian civil war and the country’s controversial nuclear program that Washington is keen to dismantle.