Iran’s judicial authorities have ordered a ban on the popular messaging app Telegram with immediate effect.

They say the app had played a role in anti-government protests earlier in the year.

The move follows months of campaigning by members of the clergy and government hardliners.

President Hassan Rowhani had been against the ban, arguing that it would violate citizens’ fundamental rights.

Telegram is popular with opposition movements in many countries because it uses encryption.

The app served as the main means of communication for anti-government demonstrators who carried out a string of protests and riots in late 2017 and early this year.

Videos and pictures of the protests spread via Telegram both at home and abroad.

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