The directive by Iran s Supreme Cyberspace Council to require social messaging apps to start storing user data in Iran within a year was the result of a majority vote by people directly appointed to the body by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, a source told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. Iranian officials have previously made several unsuccessful attempts to convince the owners of social messaging apps to move their servers to Iran, but the Council s directive is the first instance of a government agency trying to force the demand.
Iran’s supreme leader declared the Islamic Republic must advance its missile capabilities while pursuing diplomacy to gain leverage in dealing with world powers – giving a nod to both hardline and moderate factions in the country. Khamenei said the situation calls for “both missile and talk” and the country “must use all means” to advance its interests.
A group of Iranian clerics is examining potential candidates to be the next Supreme Leader, former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has said, breaking a taboo of talking publicly about succession in the Islamic republic. Moderate president Hassan Rouhani and his allies are hoping to cash in on the popularity they have gained by striking a nuclear deal with world powers that could see sanctions lifted to win the majority of seats in the assembly and a parliamentary election that will be held on the same day.
Iran’s supreme leader on Wednesday publicly endorsed for the first time the July nuclear agreement between Iran and six world powers, state news agencies reported. But the provisional endorsement was accompanied by a warning that Tehran expected all sanctions to be lifted or it would walk away from the deal. The support of the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is the final step in an approval process involving the Supreme National Security Council, the Iranian Parliament and the Guardian Council. Iran can now begin putting in place the measures outlined in the agreement, including dismantling thousands of centrifuges used for enrichment and downsizing a heavy water plant so that it can no longer produce plutonium.