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March 19, 2012updated 22 Aug 2016 1:08pm

Hague speaks against Tehran for blocking foreign website

The Iranian government has blocked access to the foreign website set up to offer information on UK policy to Iranian citizens.

By Tineka Smith

The ‘UK for Iranians’ website was blocked in Iran on March 17. British Foreign Secretary, William Hague, described the action as "an ever tightening stranglehold of censorship" the Iranian people have had to endure.

The foreign secretary said in a statement on Sunday that the website is a way to reach out and interact with Iranians about UK policy.

"I condemn this action by the Iranian Government. ‘UK for Iranians’ was launched to reach out to Iranians, explaining, discussing and engaging with them on UK policy," said Hague. We have no quarrel with the Iranian people and regret that the Iranian authorities fear their own citizens’ interaction and involvement with the outside world. "

Hague also pointed out the vast amount of censorship Iranians have to endure.

"The blocking of our website is only a very small part of what Iranians undergo daily: millions of websites blocked, access to e-mail services denied, international television channels jammed, films and theatre productions closed down, books unpublished, traditional Persian literature rewritten and newspapers banned. "

‘UK for Iranians’ homepage

News of the website blockage follows after Iran blocked access to the British embassy website in December 2011 along with Britain closing its embassy doors in Tehran and expelling Iran’s diplomats.

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Britain, along with US and EU, supports tough sanctions against Iran, accusing the country of developing nuclear weapons. Iran says its nuclear programme is entirely peaceful.

The foreign secretary said that opportunities will continue to be sought out to connect with the Iranian people.

"It is not just Iranians who are the poorer for their government’s censorship, but the rest of the world."

Please follow this author on Twitter @Tineka_S or comment below.

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