He admitted that this decision was made because of Telegram’s use by the Iranian people to organise and communicate during the nationwide anti-regime protests that sprung up in late December.
He promoted the Iranian app Soroush as a replacement service, but this widely misses the point of Telegram. The beauty of Telegram is that the messages are encrypted and cannot be read by the Iranian Regime, thus human rights activists and political opposition can use it to communicate without fear that this will be discovered by the Regime, as the mullahs have criminalised many forms of activism and their opposition groups.
Following Boroujerdi’s statement, Bahram Parsaei, a representative for a different faction, said that this decision had been made during a closed-door session in parliament on the last working day of the Iranian calendar year. As you can imagine, this doesn’t leave any time for the Iranian people to organise against this move, although if they did, the Regime would probably arrest them.
Boroujerdi gave a follow-up interview after many Iranians who use Telegram for business voiced their concerns. During this interview, he noted that China and Pakistan had also blocked the app, but failed to note that China blocks the majority of the internet and that Pakistan has not yet given a reason for the block.
He also said that UK Prime Minister Theresa May accused Telegram of harbouring terrorists, without bothering to point out that CEO Pavel Durov is working to remove these channels without providing open-door access to Regime’s to spy on political activists.
Boroujerdi also claimed that Durov is close to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, an enemy of the Iranian Regime, which is a dubious claim at best.
Realistically, the only reason that the Iranian Regime wants to ban Telegram, is because it allows the Iranian people to communicate without fear of being discovered by the Regime. If the people can discuss their protests in secret, then there is more chance of them taking place and gaining attention before the Regime’s suppressive security forces can target them. If this happens, the Resistance will grow and grow until that can overthrow the Regime. That is what the Regime is afraid of.