Judge in Iran summons 'Zionist' Mark Zuckerberg to appear in court [Update]

Earlier this month, Iranian authorities ordered a ban on WhatsApp. This week, they imposed similar restrictions on Instagram. Now, a judge in Iran has summoned Mark Zuckerberg - CEO of Facebook, which owns Instagram, and will soon own WhatsApp - to appear in court there to respond to allegations of privacy violations. 

The move follows two complaints by individuals citing unspecified privacy concerns related to Instagram and WhatsApp. Iranian official Ruholla Momen-Nasab told state news agency INSA: "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." This is not the first time that Iranian authorities have described Zuckerberg as a 'Zionist', in reference to his Jewish background. 

As VICE News notes, Zuckerberg is unlikely to accept the court's invitation to attend, and there is no mechanism to actually enforce the summons unless he happens to visit the country, given the absence of any extradition agreements between Iran and the United States. 

Despite the recent court-mandated ban on Instagram, it appears that no moves have yet been made to implement it. Other services, such as Twitter, are also officially barred from use in Iran, and yet even senior government figures continue to tweet, including Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, and even the country's President Hassan Rouhani. 

Source: VICE News | image via NVO News 

Update: Reuters is reporting that Iranian officials are denying that Zuckerberg was ever summoned to appear in court. State news agency IRNA is contradicting the earlier report of state news agency ISNA which had previously quoted an Iranian official, as detailed above. IRNA quotes Ali Alghasi-Mehr, Attorney-General of the Fars province, as saying: "Reports regarding the summoning of Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, by a court in Fars are completely false."

Between the conflicting reports from state news agencies, the contradictory statements of government officials, and the decision to impose bans on apps which aren't then enforced, needless to say, this is all somewhat confusing. 

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Astra.Xtreme said,
Yeah I'm sure Zuck will jump on a Gulfstream and fly over straight away...

I wonder if Snowden's TED robot is for hire?

If I wasn't an Iranian and I heard this news, I would thought that Iranians are some kind of villagers with stupid minds and hilarious way of thinking. given by the fact that their judge is acting like this.
(Please don't think that way, this judge guy is just... *****)

So anyone with a vaguely Central or Eastern European-sounding last name is a "Zionist"? And this person is a judge in a society that is ostensibly a rule of law democracy? Beautiful. And they call me crazy.

EDIT: government official called him a Zionist, not a judge, i stand corrected. And honestly i'm not too comfortable either with Facebook owning WhatsApp, that is a cause for concern as i quit Facebook and thought i was free of them...but am a big WhatsApp user


I don't think that calling someone out by their religion in a legal request crossing national boundaries is a great way to encourage them to respond, let alone be taken seriously in an international context, so I have to wonder why the Iranian official chose this particular term.

My guess would be regional politics, or an attempt to discourage use by the local populace.


Aryeh Goretsky

Zionism isn't a religion, it's a political belief system or ideology - sadly it is used as a pejorative term against people who are considered Jewish

Judge: "Zuckerberg is hereby being summoned by this court of law for privacy accusations from his own private, free service and non-obligatory enterprises that are no longer available in this country."

Zuckerberg: "Damn! I've been summoned by an Iranian judge, I have to take a plane and comply." "Honey, don't wait up for me tonight..."

When are we nuking that stupid country? there have been no war for the last few months and it is getting too boring!

on the other side we have tons of nukes that are getting older, and we need to test if they work, do the math! they can start from Iran to everything Assakistan

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