Iran blocks access to British embassy website

British Foreign secretary William Hague says website has been added to long list of those censored by Iranian authorities. blocked access to the website of the British embassy in Tehran following a diplomatic crisis last month that led to the closure of the UK mission.

The Foreign Office said on Thursday that the government’s website in Iran, which had continued working despite the closure of the embassy, had been deliberately filtered by the Iranian authorities. People inside Iran who try to visit, are re-directed to a web page that reads: “Access to the webiste is denied according to [Iran’s] computer crimes regulations. ” The foreign secretary, William Hague, said: “Britain’s website in Iran has now been added to the list of thousands of other internet sites deliberately censored by the Iranian authorities. “Iran has stepped up its online censorship in recent years, with help from China. More than 5m webistes are filtered in the country, including thousands of blogs, social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, and those of opposition activists, human rights groups and many media organisations including the Guardian, BBC and CNN. Despite this, many Iranians access blocked addresses with help from proxy servers or virtual private network (VPN) services. Hague said Iran’s move was “counter-productive” and “ill-judged”.

“It will confirm to the Iranian people that their government is determined to block their access to information, and to conceal from them the international community’s legitimate concerns about Iran’s policies and behaviour,” he said.

“It will also make it harder for Iranian nationals to access information about visiting the UK. And it is further proof to the rest of the world the Iranian government’s dire record on freedom of speech and human rights in general. This action will not deter Britain from continuing to engage with the Iranian people, including through the internet.”

Despite the closure of its embassy in Tehran, the Foreign Office has continued to communicate with Iranians through its website, Facebook page and Twitter account. Recently posted material on the site includes a statement by the minister for the Middle East, Alistair Burt, in which he welcomed the UN’s resolution condemning human rights violations in Iran.

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Categories: Europe, UK

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