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Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's Supreme Leader, Joins Facebook

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Despite being outlawed in the country since 2009 and branded as "Zionist", Facebook has a new user in the form of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The page, www.Khamenei.ir, has links to photos, speeches and a host of other material.

So far the site has not attracted a vast number of "likes", only 8,716, but this is not surprising seeing as his main fan-base, Iranians, don't have access to the site.

ayatollah

"Dear subjects, I am on Facebook. What do you mean you can't add me?"

In the wake of the failed 2009 revolution, Iran's leaders banned Facebook as it had been effectively used by demonstrators to spread anti-government rhetoric.

Whilst there have always been a number of sites in tribute to the 73-year-old cleric, the new page was announced via his official Twitter account.

Khamenei is already socially active, a regular user of the afore-mentioned Twitter page and other media such as Google+.

Afshon Ostovar, a Middle East analyst at CNA told Today Online: "Social media gives the regime leadership another medium of communication, one that can share their message with a younger and far more international demographic."

Iran recently blocked Google after the anti-Islam film protests and is reported to be in preparations to launch it's own domestic intranet in an effort to further control Iranian's web access.

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