updated 01:19 pm EDT, Mon October 1, 2012
Gmail block had led to parliamentary complaints
Authorities in Iran have unblocked access to Google's email service, it was announced today. Access to Gmail had been blocked last week in protest over a YouTube video that had been deemed blasphemous by religious leaders. Reuters reports that the reversal came partly as a result of complaints from officials within Iran's own government, and Iranian officials now claim that the blocking of Gmail was unintentional.
The Iranian government blocked Google and Gmail last week in protest of the video "The Innocence of Muslims," which contains material that has sparked protests across the Muslim world. Iran had previously been blocking access to YouTube, which is owned by Google, in an attempt to stifle anti-government protests. Last week's blocking of Gmail and Google were intended to cut down on attempts by Iranians to circumvent the YouTube block.
Iran's Gmail block appears to have generated complaints within the Iranian government, however. One legislator is said to have threatened to summon Iran's Telecommunications Minister to parliament for questioning if the Gmail block was not removed.
In removing the block, Iranian officials said the Gmail blockage was an unintended consequence of an attempt to enforce the YouTube ban. This despite the announcement from the government specifically stating that Gmail would be blocked "until further notice."