UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) — Government bodies in Iran are no longer allowed to use a popular messaging app called Telegram.
The app allows users to send encrypted messages and write posts to large groups.
An estimated 40 million Iranians use Telegram — making it more popular than WhatsApp in the country.
ISNA news agency said the country called Telegram a “foreign messaging app” and banned it for use within state bodies April 18.
The office of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said his account would be closed in the interest of national security.
Khamenei’s office added that doing so would also end Telegram’s monopoly on social media services in Iran.
While the announcement currently only affects government bodies, it hinted at an imminent nationwide ban on Telegram for all Iranians.
According to The Guardian, Iran has considered banning Telegram since economic protests erupted in late 2017.
Officials believe the app gave protesters a platform for organizing rallies.