An illustration picture taken through a magnifying glass on April 17, 2018 in Moscow shows the icon of the popular messaging app Telegram on a smart phone screen. (AFP photo)
TEHRAN, April 18 (Xinhua) -- Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stopped using the Telegram messaging application popular among the Iranians, khamenei.ir website reported on Wednesday.
The decision by Khamenei aims at "safeguarding national interests and removing the monopoly of the Telegram messaging app," it said.
Abdolsamad Khorramabadi, the secretary of the taskforce that screens online websites for criminal content, said Tuesday that there are a number of conditions which all foreign messaging applications willing to continue operating in Iran are required to meet, Press TV reported on Wednesday.
As the first requirement, all foreign apps need to acquire permission from Iran's Ministry of Information and Communications Technology, Khorramabadi was quoted as saying.
Foreign messaging services should also save and process all data pertaining to Iranian users inside the country, and they should ensure the users' privacy and security and should not avail data pertaining to Iranian users to any foreign entities, he said.
These services have to set up a permanent representative to the country to handle administrative affairs and settle judicial and legal issues, he added.
In January, Iran temporarily filtered telegram "to prevent activities of anti-Revolution rioters," Minister of communications and information technology of Iran said referring to the Supreme National Security Council decision.
On Jan. 3, Iran called on Telegram management to block some channels so as to curb spread of unrest in the country, which followed the protests against rising prices and economic situation that turned into sporadic violence in some places.
Minister of communications and information technology Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi has said "if Telegram manager does not respect Iranians' demand, the application will be closed completely."