Iran Now Denies Summoning Facebook’s ‘Zionist’ Zuckerberg

One day after the Iranian state news agency quoted an Iranian internet official as saying “According to the court’s ruling, the Zionist director of the company of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), or his official attorney must appear in court to defend himself and pay for possible losses,” an Iranian prosecutor now says Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is not being called into court.

Iran Now Denies Summoning Facebook's 'Zionist' Zuckerberg

Ali Alghasimehr, Shiraz chief prosecutor, was quoted in the official IRNA news agency as saying the Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) founder was not summoned to court and the company’s applications such as Instagram and WhatsApp are permitted in the Islamic nation, contradicting previous statements from government officials.

After official news agency quoted government official as calling “Zionist” Zuckerberg into court, an about face

As reported yesterday in ValueWalk and Reuters, a local court in southern Iran was said to have called Zuckerberg, calling the confirmed atheist a “Zionist.” In the article ValueWalk noted the political dynamic at play between the more moderate Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who opposes Internet censorship, and that of the more conservative Iranian court.

As of noon yesterday in Iran, users in Tehran could access all Facebook owned properties, the Associated Press is reporting. While Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is officially outlawed in Iran, as well as other social websites that promote free speech including Twitter and YouTube and their their mobile apps. However, many Iranians skirt the censorship by using proxy servers to access the banned websites and applications.

Moderate Rouhani fights internet censorship

While outlawed, some senior leaders such as Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Iranian president Rouhani are active Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR).

Rouhani’s last tweet at @HassanRouhani  said “Let people pursue their own path to heaven; they can’t be taken there by force. #CivilRights #Trust

The administration of the moderate Rouhani has publically expressed opposition to blocking social media websites before authorities create local alternatives, indicating that regardless  Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) may have a limited life expectancy in the controlled society. Rouhani has been active on social media, using it in part as a tool to reach out to the West during negotiations with as it negotiates with the US and Europe over the country’s disputed nuclear program.  It has also allowed him to communicate to the Iranian people without official news filter.

“We should see the cyber world as an opportunity,” Rouhani said last week in an IRNA news agency report. “Why are we so shaky? Why don’t we trust our youth?”

Hard-liners claim Rouhani of failing to stop the spread what is described as a “decadent” Western culture in Iran. The statement that Zuckerberg is not being summoned into court, reversing previous conservative dogma, could be viewed as a victory for Rouhani and an embarrassment for those forces who jumped the gun in attacking Zuckerberg.

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About the Author

Mark Melin
Mark Melin is an alternative investment practitioner whose specialty is recognizing a trading program’s strategy and mapping it to a market environment and performance driver. He provides analysis of managed futures investment performance and commentary regarding related managed futures market environment. A portfolio and industry consultant, he was an adjunct instructor in managed futures at Northwestern University / Chicago and has written or edited three books, including High Performance Managed Futures (Wiley 2010) and The Chicago Board of Trade’s Handbook of Futures and Options (McGraw-Hill 2008). Mark was director of the managed futures division at Alaron Trading until they were acquired by Peregrine Financial Group in 2009, where he was a registered associated person (National Futures Association NFA ID#: 0348336). Mark has also worked as a Commodity Trading Advisor himself, trading a short volatility options portfolio across the yield curve, and was an independent consultant to various broker dealers and futures exchanges, including OneChicago, the single stock futures exchange, and the Chicago Board of Trade. He is also Editor, Opalesque Futures Intelligence and Editor, Opalesque Futures Strategies. - Contact: Mmelin(at)valuewalk.com

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