Iran warns opposition on cell phone, e-mail use

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TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran has warned the opposition not to use cell phones or Internet to organize rallies against the government.

Police chief Gen. Ismail Ahmadi Moghaddam says those “spreading the message of the opposition” will be prosecuted and punished. The warning was carried on Friday by the semiofficial ISNA news agency.

Since the disputed June presidential election, hard-line state media have left the opposition with little means to make its voice heard. In the government crackdown on the opposition, almost all pro-reform newspapers have been closed.

But tech-savvy and mostly younger opposition activists have turned to cell phone SMS and e-mails as a weapon against the establishment. Cell phone service is regularly blocked during opposition rallies.