US calls on Iran to unblock social media sites amid protests

Iranians chant slogans as they march in support of the government near the Imam Khomeini grand mosque from the capital Tehran on December 30, 2017. Tens of thousands of regime supporters marched in cities across Iran in a show of strength for the regime after two days of angry protests directed against the country's religious rulers.

Hamed Malekpour | AFP | Getty Images

Iranians chant slogans as they march in support of the government near the Imam Khomeini grand mosque from the capital Tehran on December 30, 2017. Tens of thousands of regime supporters marched in cities across Iran in a show of strength for the regime after two days of angry protests directed against the country’s religious rulers.

The Trump administration can be calling on Iran’s government to stop blocking Instagram along with some other favorite social media sites as Iranians are demonstrating from the streets.

U.S. Undersecretary of State Steve Goldstein says the United States wants Iran to “open these sites.” He says Instagram, Telegram along with some other platforms are “legitimate avenues for communication.”

The United States can be encouraging Iranians to use virtual private networks, known as VPNs. Those services create encrypted links between computers along with can be used to access blocked websites.

Goldstein says the U.S. can be still communicating with Iranians in Farsi through State Department accounts on Facebook, Twitter along with some other platforms. He says the U.S. wants to “encourage the protesters to continue to fight for what’s right.”

Goldstein says the U.S. has an “obligation not to stand by.”

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