US eases restrictions on cell phones and software for Iran

  • The United States has lifted its ban on the sale of cell phones and software to Iranians.

    The decision, announced on Thursday, comes in an effort to encourage political freedom in Iran.

    "The people of Iran should be able to communicate and access information without being subject to reprisals by their government," read a statement released by the US Treasury Department.

    It added that the government and people on a list of "specially designated nationals" would still be prohibited from being given export licences.

    The shift comes just weeks ahead of elections in Iran, where social media played a vital role in the disputed 2009 polls that saw President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad return to office.

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