Iran president tweets back at Twitter founder promising freedoms

Ahram Online , Wednesday 2 Oct 2013

President Hassan Rouhani tells Twitter boss Jack Dorsey that full access to social media is the 'right' of Iranians

Hassan Rouhani speaks with a Reuters correspondent during an interview in Tehran, Feb. 6, 2005 (Photo: Reuters)

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani and Twitter chairperson Jack Dorsey have exchanged tweets about internet censorship in the Islamic republic.  

"Good evening, President. Are citizens of Iran able to read your tweets?" Dorsey asked Rouhani on Tuesday.

Social media sites have been blocked in Iran since 2009 when they were used to mobilise anti-government protests.

Dorsy received an unexpected reply from Rouhani: "Evening, @Jack. As I told [CNN's Christine Amanpour], my efforts geared 2 ensure my [people] comfortably b able 2 access all info globally as is their #right."

Rouhani's visit to New York to attend the UN annual general assembly this week boosted hopes of a diplomatic rapprochement between the US and Iran.

In his speech to the General Assembly, Rouhani voiced his country's willingliness to start nuclear negotiations. "Peace is within reach," he said. He also held a phone call with US  President Obama, which was considered the first between Iranian and American heads of government since the 1979 Islamic revolution, according to AFP.

In a further step, Rouhani told CNN:  "the crime the Nazis created toward the Jews is reprehensible and condemnable," acknowledging the Holocaust, unlike his predecessors.

Iranian overtures have been welcomed by the US but eyed with distrust by others, particularly Israel. 


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