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Twitter suspends accounts of Iranian news agencies

Twitter application (Dreamstime/TNS)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

Twitter has suspended the accounts of several Iranian state news agencies, citing alleged harassment of followers of the Baha’i faith.

The Persian-language Twitter accounts of the official Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) and the semiofficial Mehr news agency were affected.

The Twitter page of the Young Journalists Club, run by the state broadcaster, the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, was also suspended.

The accounts of some agencies, including the semiofficial Fars and the English-language Press TV, remained active.

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The affected agencies speculated that the suspensions were linked to their coverage of tensions in the region.

A Twitter source confirmed to several news outlets that the accounts were suspended for coordinated and targeted harassment of people associated with the Baha’i, a 300,000-strong minority faith in Iran.

The Baha’i faith is not recognized in the constitution of Iran, which has been ruled by a conservative Muslim establishment since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Baha’is say that hundreds of followers have been killed since the 1980s, and that many more have been imprisoned and tortured.