An Iranian court has ordered Mark Zuckerberg, “the Zionist director of Facebook,” to face an Iranian court regarding privacy violations, according to a Reuters report.

Mark Zuckerberg Facebook

Iranian court targets Zuckerberg again

An Iranian court in the southern province of Fars brought the case due to what is says were complaints from citizens regarding undisclosed sharing of user data. Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is documented to have been cooperating with the US National Security Agency by providing access to user private messages and data.

“According to the court’s ruling, the Zionist director of the company of Facebook, or his official attorney must appear in court to defend himself and pay for possible losses,” Iranian internet official Ruhollah Momen-Nasab, said, according to the Iranian state news agency ISNA.

Mark Zuckerberg is a confirmed atheist and does not overtly embrace any religious background.  As previously reported in ValueWalk, Zuckerberg was a target of Iranian ire earlier in May, as the Islamic nation blocked Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s WhatsApp and then called Zuckerberg a “Zionist.”

In addition to Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), the Iranian court also targeted Facebook-owned WhatsApp and Instagram.  Zuckerberg and his related companies are unlikely to heed the court’s summons, according to the report.

Internet usage in Iran is on the rise as the generally educated population seeks to bypass the restrictive government’s ban on Western cultural products.  The move by the generally conservative Iranian court provides a glimpse at internal politics in the nation, as the more moderate Iranian president Hassan Rouhani has been pushing for greater internet freedoms and has been positioned opposite of the court.

Previous Iranian targeting of “Zionist” Zuckerberg

Highlighting the rift last month, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that Iran’s social censor decided to forbid the application in the strict Islamic nation.  “The reason for this is the assumption of WhatsApp by the Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) founder Mark Zuckerberg, who is an American Zionist,” Abdolsamad Khorramabadi, head of the country’s Committee on Internet Crimes, was quoted in the report as saying.

At the time blocking WhatsApp was a bone of contention between the court and Rouhani.  News reports cited Iran’s state news agency IRNA for the story.  Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani, reacting to the news, later tweeted that the Government was “fully opposed to filtering of WhatsApp.”  Such a conflict between major leaders is a signal that a dispute inside the government may be taking place, ValueWalk reported on May 5.

While Iran’s targeting of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) appears to be partially politically and religiously motivated, the core privacy issue being raised is a serious one that has resulted in the questioning of American-made technology products and services.