Most Iranians were employing the VPN system to visit sites blocked by a firewall in accordance with government writ. But on Monday, to their surprise the social network sites known as Facebook and Twitter suddenly appeared and Iranians flocked in droves to the domains. Ever since the elections took place in Iran some four odd years ago, both sites had been prevented from entering the confines of Iranian cyberspace.
The move appeared at first blush to be the new President Hassan Rouhani’s attempt at liberalizing Iran. The soft image given off by the new head of state included a welcoming of science and technology. Furthermore, betterment of relations with the West was on the agenda as well.
However, the joy proved to be short-lived. According to a trusted source, the committee responsible for the censorship of sites had just encountered a few problems. That was the actual reason behind the apparent freedom that exhilarated so many only to extinguish their hopes soon afterwards.
Nevertheless, many are still hopeful that times will change in Iran with the new government in place. After all, it’s been a long time since the fall of the Shah and the rise of Ayatollah Khomeini. A thawing of the détente with the West may be in the pipeline for Iran and Iranians.