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Website Of Iran's Former President Rafsanjani Blocked

By Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL

The website of Iran’s former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani was filtered on December 29 for several hours, according to Iranian news websites, including "Tabnak."

Rafsanjani during his July 2009 historical Friday prayers sermon

No explanation has been provided by officials or the managers of Rafsanjani’s website about the reason for the temporary blocking of the site.

The website is now reportedly accessible in Iran without the usual antifiltering tools that many use to access banned websites.

One website suggested that the website of the former president, who has angered hard-liners, deserved to meet the same fate as the U.S. Virtual Embassy for Iran, which was blocked a day after its launch.

“These days, the website of Hashemi Rafsanjani has put a lot of effort into creating divisions between the principalists and creating doubt about the health of the [March parliamentary elections]. It’s been to such a degree that if -- after the filtering of America’s virtual embassy for Iran and the filtering of the British embassy in Tehran -- officials in charge would move to block [Rafsanjani’s website], it wouldn’t be unfair," according to the hard-line -- "Bibak” website.

Rafsanjani has come under attack for his backing of opposition leader Mir Hossein Musavi in the 2009 presidential election and also for criticizing the postelection crackdown.

UPDATE: Shortly after we posted the blog post, Rafsanjani's website became inaccessible. The website now seems to be completely down.

Copyright (c) 2011 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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