The authorities of Iran, as planned, began to replace the popular in the country Telegram own service Soroush, through which you can exchange messages. As noted by the Daily Mirror and the BBC , in late April, the government began to promote its application among local residents.
One of the main features of Soroush was a set of pre-installed stickers with a woman in a veil – a veil covering the figure that the Muslim women wear when leaving the house. On one of the images she holds a portrait of Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei, on others – posters with wishes of death to Israel, America and Masons.
In the armed forces of Iran there was a resonance around Soroush. The BBC cited the example of a contest in the Islamic Revolutionary Forces branch of the Forces of Quds: five members won the “golden coins” for registration, which, presumably, give the user some bonuses. The contest was held in the Telegram-channel of the military unit.
There is no encryption in Soroush, which caused jokes in Iranian social media. According to one of them, three “checkmarks” near the messages in the messenger (in Telegram, two of them) mean that the letter is not only sent and read, but also checked by a security officer.
In April, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei refused to conduct the Telegram-channel “for the protection of national interests”. The report clarified that the decision of the leader of Iran was the first step on the way to blocking the messenger throughout the country. Ali Khamenei offered to read it in the state services Soroush and Gap.
Telegram is the most popular messenger in Iran, its audience is estimated at 40-50 million people. At the end of 2017, Pavel Durov’s messenger was again blocked in the country due to the company’s refusal to close the channels of protesters against the difficult economic situation. In January, restrictions on Telegram were lifted because of discontent of Iranian businessmen. At the end of March, it became known about plans to again block the messenger and replace it with domestic development for “ensuring the safety of citizens.”