US virtual embassy to Iran blocked
Updated: 2011-12-08 06:32
TEHRAN - Iran has blocked a web-based embassy provided by the US government to Iranians only a day after it was officially launched, local Fars news agency reported on Wednesday.
In October, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that her country was planning to open a virtual embassy for Iranians by the end of this year, which would provide them with online access to US visa and education information.
Shortly after Clinton's remarks, the Islamic Association Union of Iranian Students vowed to occupy the virtual embassy once it was launched, as what their predecessors did to the US embassy 32 years ago.
Seyyed-Ali Mousavi, secretary of the students' movement said that they would not allow the United States to enter Iran.
On Wednesday, Iranian lawmaker Hassan Ghafourifard said the launch of the US virtual embassy aims at creating a rift between the Iranian people and their government, the state IRIB TV website reported.
Iranians are not interested in having anything to do with the virtual embassy, Ghafourifard was quoted as saying.
Condemning the launch of the virtual embassy as a plot against Iran, Ghafourifard said "the Iranian nation knows and recognizes the US plots in any forms," according to IRIB.
Another Iranian lawmaker Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh told local Mehr news agency Wednesday that the launch of the virtual embassy is "a kind of public announcement to attract spies (from Iranians) to the US."
The objective behind the establishment of the US virtual embassy is to put political pressures on Iran, said Falahatpisheh who heads the Foreign Relations Committee of Iranian parliament.
The United States broke off diplomatic relations with Iran on April 7, 1980 after a group of Iranian students seized the US embassy and captured some 60 US diplomats in 1979, with 52 of them held captive for 444 days in the hostage crisis.