Officially, the acquisition of Whatsapp by Facebook isn"t closed yet, but that is apparently not stopping Iranian censors from banning the messaging service. A new report from Isreal-based Haaretz claims that Iran is putting the blame squarely on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, claiming that he is an "American Zionist."
The report claims that the ban was announced by the country"s Committee for Determining Criminal Web Content, but it adds that the government is actually against this decision, as it wants to be seen as being more progressive. However, a simpler explanation is that Facebook, along with Twitter, is already banned in Iran and has been since 2009. It"s more likely that the upcoming acquisition of Whatsapp by Facebook is the real reason behind this move.
The deal for Whatsapp to be bought by Facebook, for the price of $19 billion in cash and stock, is scheduled to be closed later this quarter. A few weeks ago, Whatsapp announced it had 500 million active users worldwide and was aiming to reach one billion users.