0843 GMT March 19, 2019
Chief among those apps is Telegram, used by over 40 million Iranians for everything from benign conversations to commerce and political campaigning.
Telegram channels run on behalf of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei and Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri were already shut down Wednesday.
Ayatollah Khamenei has stopped using the Telegram messaging application in a show of support for domestic versions and in line with the country’s national interests, the website for the preservation and publication of the works of Ayatollah Khamenei (khamenei.ir) announced on Wednesday.
A report on the website of Iran’s state television broadcaster said the ban affected all public institutions.
Last month, officials said Iran would block Telegram for reasons of national security in response to economic protests earlier this year.
Authorities temporarily shut down Telegram during the protests.
The move against Telegram suggests Iran may try to introduce its own version of the messaging app.
Iran has said foreign messaging apps can get licenses from authorities to operate if they transfer their databases into the country.
Iran’s move also comes after a Russian court on Friday ordered Telegram to be blocked after the company refused to share its encryption data with authorities.