US sends Twitter messages to Iranians

Last Updated: Monday, February 14, 2011 - 23:48

Washington: The US State Department has
begun sending Twitter messages to Iranians in Farsi, alluding
to the "historic role" social media have played in mass
protests against Iran`s 2009 disputed presidential polls.

The Twitter feeds in the Iranian language began Sunday
as US officials accused Iran of hypocrisy by supporting the
anti-government revolt in Egypt but seeking to prevent
anti-government demonstrations in Iran.

On the Twitter account, USAdarFarsi, the State
Department said it "recognizes historic role of social media
among Iranians We want to join in your conversations."
In another tweet, the State Department said: "#Iran
has shown that the activities it praised Egyptians for it sees
as illegal, illegitimate for its own people."

In a third tweet, it said "US calls on Iran to allow
people to enjoy same universal rights to peacefully assemble,
demonstrate as in Cairo."

In Tehran, riot police today fired tear gas and shot
paintballs at protesters who turned what they said was a
Tehran rally in support of Arab revolts into an
anti-government demonstration, witnesses said.

International and local Iranian media were banned from
freely covering the massive wave of protest sparked by the
disputed re-election in June 2009 of President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad.

But Iranians overcame the reporting ban by using
social-networking and image-sharing websites such as Twitter,
Facebook, YouTube and Flickr despite efforts by local
officials to cut off mobile phones and the Internet.

PTI

First Published: Monday, February 14, 2011 - 23:48
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