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US-Iranian group slams Iran’s ‘halal’ Internet plan

Iran plans to launch an Islamic internet to counter the influence of West.

Tehran: The National Iranian American Council has slammed a plan by Iranian authorities to launch an Islamic Internet to counter the influence of the Western-dominated World Wide Web.

Reza Marashi, research director at the National Iranian American Council, said Iranian authorities have been working on such a proposal for at least two years.

"This is what repressive governments do, they try to withhold information from their people," The Fox News quoted, Marashi as saying.

"It`s very black and white -- you either support Internet freedom or you don`t. If you restrict access on the Internet, you`re not on the right side of the issue," he added.

Earlier, Ali Aqamohammadi, head of economic affairs for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, announced the plans to launch an Islamic Internet, which according to him, would improve country’s communication and trade links with the world.

"We can describe it as a genuinely `halal` network aimed at Muslims on an ethical and moral level. The aim of this network is to increase Iran and the Farsi language`s presence in what has become the most important source of international communication,” said Aqamohammadi.

Marashi said he believes the proposal will be difficult to achieve in the near future.

"You have to give people a choice at the end of the day. That`s what it`s all about," said Marashi.


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