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Jan 13, 2:10 PM EST

As protests wane, Iran lifts ban on messaging app Telegram


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TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iran's semi-official ILNA news agency is reporting that the ban on a popular messaging app has been lifted, two weeks after waning anti-government protests in which more than 21 people were killed.

The Saturday report says Telegram, which has some 40 million users in Iran, is now accessible once again through both Wi-Fi and mobile networks.

The Associated Press spoke on Saturday with residents from several cities across the country, including Shiraz, Isfahan, Bandar Abbas, Rasht and Oroumieh, who all confirmed that they now have access to the app.

Iran shut down Telegram and the picture-sharing app Instagram during the protests in early January, saying rioters were using them to spread unrest. Soon afterward authorities restored access to Instagram but Telegram remained banned.

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