Iran's president has vetoed a plan to block Facebook-owned messaging app WhatsApp. President Hassan Rouhani made the move after it was reported that the ban stemmed from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's Jewish heritage. The media echoed a quote from Abdolsamad Khorramabadi, secretary of the Committee for Determining Criminal Web Content, who stated that WhatsApp would be blacklisted after its acquisition by "Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who is an American Zionist." Rouhani, who came to power on the basis of being a reformist, has ordered a halt - although Telecommunication Minister Mahmoud Vaezi was quoted as saying "until the time that we have a replacement for these sites, the government opposes filtering them."
If approved, WhatsApp would have joined a long list of banned websites and apps, including Twitter and Facebook itself. President Rouhani has been fighting to establish his reputation as a forward-thinking, tech-friendly leader - he has already encouraged his staff to join Facebook, tweeted Twitter's Jack Dorsey, and showcased a fondness of hashtag use.