Iran Permanently Bans Google's Gmail Service: Report : The Two-Way The Iranian government continues to search for the winning formula for putting the genie of popular unrest of the sort which brought it to power 30 years ago, back in the bottle. Banning Google's Gmail service appears to be its latest attempt at s...

Iran Permanently Bans Google's Gmail Service: Report

The Iranian government continues to search for the winning formula for putting the genie of popular unrest of the sort which brought it to power 30 years ago back in the bottle. Banning Google's Gmail service appears to be its latest attempt at stifling the opposition.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

Iran's telecommunications agency announced what it described as a permanent suspension of Google Inc.'s email services, saying a national email service for Iranian citizens would soon be rolled out.

It wasn't clear late Wednesday what effect the order had on Gmail services in Iran, or even if Iran had implemented its new policy. Iranian officials have claimed technological advances in the past that they haven't been able to execute.

Google didn't have an immediate comment about the announcement.

A Reuters reporter was able to get a comment from Google:

Google reported a drop in email traffic, but did not confirm the Journal report.

"We have heard from users in Iran that they are having trouble accessing Gmail," a Google spokesman wrote in an e-mail to Reuters. "We can confirm a sharp drop in traffic, and we
have looked at our own networks and found that they are working properly."

He added that Google supported free online communication, but "sometimes it is not within our control."

There was no immediate comment from Tehran, where it was after midnight when the news broke. Opposition leaders have called on supporters to take to the streets Thursday,
raising the risk of renewed violence.