Published On: Tue, Oct 10th, 2017

Iran seeks to permanently block mobile navigation app WAZE for being ‘Zionist’

Iran to stop drivers from using Israeli-made navigation app Waze; other popular online services blocked in the country include Facebook, YouTube.



The Islamic Republic of Iran is seeking to block access to mobile navigation app Waze, for its being an Israeli-made, Azernews reported quoting Iranian media.

According to the report, Iran temporarily shut down the popular app last March, but the ban was lifted last month. Waze enables drivers to take the quickest possible route to their destination, relying on user’s intelligence.

Now the Iranian cyberspace watchdog, ‎Committee for Determining Criminal Web Content, has demanded the Ministry of Communications block the app again. This time permanently.

Permanent blocking Waze needs time, the report added, because the app technological complexity uses infrastructures that take time to stop.

Semi-official Fars news reported earlier that the Israeli background of Waze has raised concerns about the consequences of its usage in Iran.

Previously, Iran’s Judiciary instructed the Iranian app store ‘Cafe Bazaar’ to bring down Waze from its website. Iran claimed, “Waze was invented by Zionist developers.”


Navigation app Waze to soon be permanently blocked in Iran

Waze Mobile was founded in Israel in 2006 by Uri Levine, Ehud Shabtai, and Amir Shinar. It was purchased by Google in 2013. The company active mainly from Tel Aviv.

Justifying its previous attempt to obstruct access to the app, Iran claimed, “Waze was invented by Zionist developers.”

Many users recount using the app on Twitter, for example, with one even petitioning the company for Persian language support due its “thousands of users” in the country.

“I used Waze on my way to work today. Iran has already blocked the app, but it seems they found a way to circumvent the blockage. An official committed to blocking it again,” Ali Noorani, a journalist residing in Tehran, wrote on his Twitter account Sunday.

Waze is not alone. Same popular internet companies are unavailable in Iran, including YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook. Tools enabling users to detour the obstruction do exist.

Waze declined to comment on the move and the company also refused to divulge how many users the app currently has in Iran.

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