Iran’s Revolutionary Guard targets hundreds of social media users

The military body said that those detained or summoned posted messages that they deemed as immoral, were related to modeling, or which insulted Muslim religious beliefs.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard’s (IRGC) cyber unit has summoned, detained and warned some 450 Iranian administrators of social media groups in recent weeks.

The IRGC stated Tuesday that those detained used the messaging app Telegram, which is popular in Iran.

The statement said that they took action only after “judicial procedures” were completed, without elaborating.

In May, authorities announced an operation targeting those involved in modeling on Instagram.

The arrests are part of a larger cultural struggle in Iran between Muslim hard-liners and moderates leaning to the West over the country’s future.

The Revolutionary Guard is intended to protect the country’s Islamic system by preventing foreign interference as well as coups by the military or “deviant movements.”

The State Department’s annual report on global terrorist activity published in June stated that Iran continued to use the Al-Quds unit of the IRGC to implement its foreign policy goals through the development of its terrorism network, which spans the Middle East, Africa and several other countries.

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By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News
AP contributed to this report.