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The head of Telegram, the most popular social media network in Iran, has again categorically denied making any concessions to Tehran regarding censorship.

On January 13, 2016, the Iranian media widely reported a statement  by Iran’s Communications and Information Technology Minister Mahmoud Vaezi that the instant messaging service Telegram “has agreed to block any channel reported by Iran’s Communications Ministry.”

Pavel Durov, however, who is CEO of the widely used messaging service, said only “porn/ISIS” related content would be subject to censorship in Iran, as it is in other countries, but not any other content disapproved of by the Iranian government.

Vaezi claimed that Telegram, which has as many as 20 million users in Iran, had already blocked several pages “reported by our Ministry whose content was in violation of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s laws.” 

Not so, according to Telegram CEO Pavel Durov.

“So if the claim was that we block any content on demand, that is of course not true,” Durov tweeted in response to queries.

“I guess what he [Vaezi] meant is that they (like any other user) can report porn/ISIS channels at and they’ll get blocked,” continued Durov.

“Reports sent to our abuse team are carefully analyzed; if content doesn’t contain porn/ISIS ideology, reports are disregarded,” Durov added in another tweet.

In response to a question about why some Iranian channels seemed to have recently disappeared from Telegram, Durov dismissed the assumption that his team was responsible for their shutdown.

“The assumption is false. Most likely the creator of the channel got hacked. We’re looking into it,” he tweeted

In October 2015, Telegram CEO Durov publicly announced that the Iranian government had requested it spy on Iranian users and that the company had turned down the request.