TEHRAN, Jan. 30 (Press Shia) – Head of Iran’s Passive Defense Organization said Tue. that messaging startup Telegram’s cryptocurrency known as ‘Gram’ will affect Iranian jobs and banks.
Brig. Gen. Gholamreza Jalali, while noting that the encrypted messaging startup Telegram holds 95 percent share of social media in Iran, criticized the chat app for its adverse impact, adding “Telegram’s cryptocurrency, ‘Gram’, which was introduced last week, can affect jobs in Iran to the point where we can no longer have any cooperation with our own banks. This is a fact that jobs’ reliance on Telegram will become troublesome.”
Jalali accused Telegram CEO Pavel Durov of selling Iran’s ‘big data’ to the country’s enemies, adding “the owner of Telegram does not receive any payments for the app’s services, so to earn money, he sells the data to those countries which need it to monitor and analyze our country.”
He went on to add, “our data stored in Telegram definitely has its special clients, including the US, the Zionist regime, the enemies of the Revolution, and any group with a capacity to rally operational forces against us.”
Brig. Gen. Jalali noted the recent protests in Iran as a case in which Telegram was directly involved, saying “Telegram was responsible for issuing all guidelines, instructions and coordination. Twitter was used as a link between elites and leaders of the operations.”
“When Telegram was blocked in Iran, the country’s cyber traffic dropped by 80 percent,” Jalali said, adding “threatening communications stopped, and security forces managed to make timely arrests in various cities across the country and identify the ones leading the protests.”
The Head of Iran’s Passive Defense Organization went on to discuss Telegram’s plans for introducing a new model for communications, namely the blockchain known as Telegram Open Network, adding “the model will most likely be out of our control, to the point where the possibility of blocking the app will be ruled out. This requires a united brainstorming among all groups, officials and the people in the country so that the conditions will be provided to bring all data transfer and cyber communications back to Iranian-based social media.”