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Iran unblocks Gmail access

01 Oct 2012
Iran banned

Iranian officials have unblocked Gmail services for the country's citizens, according to Reuters.

The lifting of restrictions marks a quick end to the government-sanctioned block on Google's email service. Officials have reported that Gmail was blocked as an unexpected consequence of its attempt to restrict access to YouTube.

Iran is said to be blocking YouTube in protest at a recent anti-Islam video posted on the site.

"We wanted to ban YouTube and then Gmail was cut off as well, and this was unintended," Iranian official Mohammad Reza Aghamiri told the Mehr News Agency, according to Reuters.

"We absolutely do not want YouTube to be accessible. Therefore, the telecommunications ministry is trying to find a way to solve this problem so that it can block YouTube in the HTTPS protocol while leaving Gmail accessible."

Gmail services were shut down last week after YouTube refused to take down a controversial anti-Islam video posted on its site earlier this year.

According to Reuters, the Gmail shut down irked some Iranian legislators. Iranian political figure Hossein Garousi reportedly threatened to summon Iranian telecommunications Minister Reza Taqipour to parliament for questioning if Gmail wasn't reinstated.

Iran is known for its strict internet policies. Country officials already ban members of certain industries from using foreign webmail services. Rumours also began spreading that the country would move to a local intranet following the Stuxnet virus scare from earlier this year.

Despite the government's attempts to censor the internet, many Iranian citizens are said to avoid restrictions by using virtual private networks to gain access to blocked sites.

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James Dohnert

James is a freelance writer and editor. In addition to ClickZ, his work has appeared in publications like V3, The Commonwealth Club,, and Shonen Jump magazine. He studied Journalism at Weber State University.

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