Iran Blocks London 2012 Website, Reports Suggest

Huffington Post UK  |  By Posted: 9/04/2012 15:06 Updated: 9/04/2012 15:43

Iran Olympics

Iran has reportedly blocked the official website for the London 2012 Olympics.

Iranians on social networks reported that instead of visiting the london2012.com website they were forwarded to peyvandha.ir, a local news service run by an official agency.

Tests run by the Huffington Post UK via a website designed to test if sites are available in Iran showed the site was still accessible.

But others insisted the site was down:

In March 2011 Iran threatened to boycott the Olympics over claims that the logo spells the word 'zion', and the games are a 'pro-Israeli conspiracy'.

However Iran has competed previously at many Olympic games, including a female skier who competed at the 2010 Vancouver winter Olympics.

It later said via state media that it would compete, though "our decision to partake [in the] Olympic Games, has nothing to do with the UK politicians… We will participate and play gloriously in London Games" Iran said.

Iran has a history of blocking access to websites its considers a threat to public order, including several Western social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, as well as the Virtual US Embassy among many others.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei recently set up a new council to monitor which websites should be blocked.

State media cited "the increasing spread of information and communication technologies, particularly that of the global internet network and its important role in personal and social life" for the need to impose greater controls.

The so-called Supreme Council of Virtual Space will be staffed by the president, the ministers of culture and information and security chiefs. It will the asked with coordinating censorship in the country and monitoring discussions on social media.

It follows an attempt in 2010 to set up a Revolutionary Guard 'cyber army', which has since resulted in hundreds of arrests and several death sentences, according to the BBC.

The number of internet users in Iran has grown from around 1% in 2002 to at least 13%, the BBC said.

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