Officials have reported that the Gmail block was an unexpected consequence of the country’s YouTube shut down.
Iran is said to be blocking YouTube in protest of a recent anti-Islam video posted on the video-sharing site.
“We wanted to ban YouTube and then Gmail was cut off as well, and this was unintended,” Iranian official Mohammad Reza Aghamiri told the Mehr News Agency, according to Reuters. “We absolutely do not want YouTube to be accessible. Therefore, the telecommunications ministry is trying to find a way to solve this problem so that it can block YouTube in the HTTPS protocol while leaving Gmail accessible.”
Gmail services were shut down last week in an attempt to protest YouTube. The video-sharing site has fallen into hot water because of its decision to not take down a controversial anti-Islam video posted on its site earlier this year.
The Gmail shut down irked some Iranian legislators. Iranian political figure Hossein Garousi reportedly threatened to summon Iranian telecommunications Minister Reza Taqipour to parliament for questioning if Gmail wasn’t reinstated, according to Reuters.
Iran is known for its strict internet policies. Country officials already ban members of certain industries from using foreign email. Rumors also began spreading that the country would move to a local intranet following the Stuxnet virus scare from earlier this year.
Despite the governments attempts to ban certain internet uses many Iranian citizens are said to avoid restrictions by using virtual private networks to gain access to blocked sites.
This article was originally published on V3.