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Iran now denies it will block off Internet access

Iran's citizens may be able to continue viewing Internet sites like Google, Yahoo and others after all. Earlier this week, a report surfaced that claimed the government of Iran was going to block out access to the outside Internet by August, replacing it with its own internal "national Internet" service.

Now AFP (via Google) reports that the Iranian government's ministry of communication and information technology has said the original story was in fact a hoax, claiming that the first story was generated by "the propaganda wing of the West and providing its hostile media with a pretext emanating from a baseless claim."

Even if that first story was in fact false, Iran's government does still have plans to establish some kind of internal online network, although it is not clear yet if it is designed to take the place of the regular Internet in that country.

Iran has also showed that it has the will to block access to the Internet for its citizens in the past. In February, it was reported that Iranian residents were unable to access outside online services such as Hotmail, Gmail and Yahoo Mail for a number of hours, although some citizens in that country were able to access the net via VPN connections.

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