Speed Reads

Unrest in Iran

Iran restricts Instagram access as a warning to protesters

The government of Iran on Sunday placed what it says is a "temporary" restriction on access to social media including Instagram and an encrypted messaging app call Telegram. Demonstrators have used both to chronicle and coordinate their anti-government protests this week, and Iranian state television says the censorship decision was made at "the highest security level" to "maintain tranquility and security of society."

The CEO of Telegram said on Twitter his company refused Tehran's request to deny service to protesters, and as a result Iran blocked the app for "the majority of Iranians." Earlier Sunday, the Iranian government threatened to respond to protesters chanting "death to the dictator" with an "iron fist." Iranian Interior Minister Rahmani Fazli promised demonstrators would "pay the price," accusing them of using social media to cause "violence and fear."