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Say Goodbye To Gmail

And hello to Mullah-Mail:

Iran’s telecommunications agency announced what it described as a permanent suspension of Google’s e-mail services, saying that a national e-mail service for Iranian citizens would soon be rolled out.

Iran’s telecommunications agency announced Wednesday that it has permanently suspended Google’s e-mail services and that a national e-mail service for Iranians will be rolled out soon.

It is not clear what effect the order has had on gmail in Iran. Google has not yet commented about the announcement. Google on Tuesday unveiled a new service called “Buzz,” a social networking tool built into its gmail service.

The announced suspension of gmail comes as Iranian authorities have deployed in force across Tehran to conduct last-minute security sweeps and warn residents to refrain from joining antigovernment protests planned for Thursday — the 31st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution.

Google says in a statement, “We have heard from users in Iran that they are having trouble accessing Gmail. We can confirm a sharp drop in traffic, and we have looked at our own networks and found that they are working properly.  Whenever we encounter blocks in our services we try to resolve them as quickly as possibly because we strongly believe that people everywhere should have the ability to communicate freely online. Sadly, sometimes it is not within our control.”

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