The filtering of a popular messaging app in Iraq is threatening to unleash a confrontation between Prime Minister Muhammad Shia’ Al-Sudani and Shiite armed groups. Outlets which feel targeted see the measure as the outcome of US pressure in liaison with the Baghdad government. Others view the ban as part and parcel of maneuvering ahead of the upcoming provincial elections later this year.
Popular platform in the crosshairs
Telegram has in past years grown to become among the most popular—and powerful—platforms in Iraq for the dissemination of commentary and news. In January, Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Saad Maan said around 16M of Iraq’s population of 43M use the Dubai-based messaging app.
In an unexpected announcement, the Iraqi Ministry of Communications on Aug. 6 moved to ban the app in...
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