The U.S. Virtual Embassy in Tehran was blocked by Iranian authorities today, one day after its launch.
The website, presented in both Persian and English, was blocked today according to both international and Iranian media.
The virtual embassy launched by Washington included information on how to apply for U.S. travel visas and university admission.
The U.S. virtual mission went online yesterday with a message from Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, saying new technology was being harnessed to overcome the obstacles to dialogue that have developed over decades of diplomatic silence between the two countries.
The U.S. embassy in Tehran has been closed since the 1979 Revolution, when the embassy was overtaken by Iranian revolutionaries and all U.S. diplomats were taken hostage.
Clinton’s message described the online embassy as “an effort to promote greater understanding between the two nations.”
The head of Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, rejected U.S. claims about respect for the rights of Iranian citizens. He noted that “U.S. sanctions on the sale of passenger aircraft parts to Iran are in fact war against Iranian people and not the government, and they reveal that the U.S. has no regard for Iranian citizens.”
Another commission member declared that the virtual embassy was a official call for “recruiting U.S. spies.”
The effort has also been interpreted by the Iranian establishment as a U.S. tactic for creating divisions between the people and the Iranian government.