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Iran's president says media censorship has backfired on regime

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File photo of Hasan Rouhani
File photo of Hasan Rouhani
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Iranian president Hasan Rouhani has declared his country's efforts to censor the internet a failure.

Speaking on state television, he said that restricting access to information had backfired.

"We do not have media freedom in Iran. We have only a state-owned radio-television. So, everyone has rushed to social media" for information.

"This would not have been the case if we had a variety of 500 media outlets. People want to say everything on social media because we do not have any other media outlets."

"Fighting the general will of the people is neither right, nor legal or legitimate, we cannot fight with the general will of the people."

Iran blocks Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and the websites of many international media. Euronews.com has previously become unavailable in the country but currently seems to be widely accessible.

Many Iranians use software to hide their country of origin, known as VPNs to dodge the restrictions. Rouhani has his own Twitter account which is regularly updated.