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Iran protests: Government temporarily restricts social media on mobiles

At least two people have got killed during the protests. Numerous demonstrators have been arrested. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team Delhi, India Dec 31, 2017, 01.33 PM (IST)

The Iranian government blocked social media apps after protests intensified across the capital city and spread to areas like Qom -- 80kms away from Tehran. 

At least two people have been killed during the protests which continued on the third. Numerous demonstrators have been arrested. 

Iran's Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli's warned protestors stating that "those who damage public property, violate law and order and create unrest are responsible for their actions and should pay the price."

Despite the warning, the protestors attacked a town hall in Tehran on Saturday. 

The government was reported to have banned internet access on local devices and have nos restricted access to a couple of social media applications to curb protests.

Social media applications like Instagram and Telegram have been banned.

Telegram app was previously accused of being a tool in instigating violence during protests.

Telecom Minister Mohammad-Javad Azari called the app as "counter-revolutionary", facilitating armed uprising and social unrest. 

"If the counter-revolutionaries want to use this atmosphere to create riots, naturally the Supreme National Security Council will take action," he told the state broadcaster.

"Iranian authorities are blocking access to Telegram for the majority of Iranians after our public refusal to shut down [Sedaie Mardom] and other peacefully protesting channels," Azari tweeted, referring to one of the channels criticised by Iran.

Telegram CEO Pavel Durov confirmed the blocking.

(With inputs from agencies)