Iran slams Meta's removal of Khamenei's accounts as 'free speech violation'

Iran has denounced US tech giant Meta's decision to remove the Facebook and Instagram accounts of its supreme leader Ali Khamenei, calling it a "violation of freedom of expression."

Instagram and Facebook are among the most popular social media platforms for Iranians, but while the government blocks their use, officials in the country have accounts on them.

Meta said last month it had removed Khamenei's accounts from Facebook and Instagram for having "repeatedly violated" its policy on "dangerous organisations and individuals."

In response, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said the move was "not only a violation of freedom of speech, but also an insult to millions of followers of his positions and news."

"The mottos of freedom of expression by some Western claimants are hollow and showy slogans and a cover for their illegitimate political goals," he told the Middle East Eye news outlet in remarks also published by Iran's foreign ministry.

Khamenei, 84, has been the country's supreme leader since 1989, a position that allows him the final say in major state policies.

He had about five million followers on Instagram.

Meta's move on February 8 came as Khamenei increasingly voiced support for Palestinian group Hamas and denounced Israel in its war on Gaza.

Despite the Iranian government's ban on Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms including X, internet users in the country can still access them using virtual private networks, or VPNs.


Source: TRT