Iranian oil minister joins Twitter, despite country-wide ban

Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh reportedly joined Twitter on Wednesday “for dynamic communication,” despite a country-wide ban on the social media platform.

“I have come to Twitter for a more dynamic and effective relationship with domestic and foreign audience,” he wrote in his first tweet. Bloomberg, which first reported the news, said the Oil Ministry’s public-relations office confirmed the account @BijanZanganeh belongs to the oil minister.

The Oil Ministry could not immediately be reached for comment.

The Iranian government first blocked Twitter and Facebook in 2009 during its presidential election over fears they could be used to organize protests. According to The New York Times, it’s not uncommon for Iranians to circumvent the ban – the country’s president Hassan Rouhani has even opened Facebook and Twitter accounts.

When Rouhani first joined, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey quipped in a tweet whether citizens of Iran would be able to read his messages.