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Iran bans Pokemon Go due to ‘security’ concerns

Pokemon Go has been perhaps the most popular mobile game the world over for the past weeks. The game has attracted players with Pokemon characters and augmented reality features which allow users to search for roaming Pokemon based on their location and catch them with Pokeballs using finger swipes.

PokemonApp1200X741But now, Iranian players may no longer be able to enjoy the fun and be part of the public frenzy. Authorities in Iran have banned the Pokemon Go app because of “security concerns”. No specifics were given as to why.

The decision was made by Iran’s High Council of Virtual Spaces, which oversees the country’s online activity.

Other countries have also expressed their worries over security concerns brought by the game. But Iran is the first country so far to issue a ban on Pokemon Go.

In late July, Sheikh Saleh al-Fozan, a leading cleric in Saudi Arabia, urged users to shun Pokemon Go and said a fatwa (religious ruling) issued against an earlier Pokemon card game also applied to the new mixed-reality app. The concern is that Pokemon Go contained “forbidden images” and violated Islamic bans on gambling.

On July 22, 2016, less than a week since it’s first launched in Canada, two Canadian teenagers were briefly apprehended after they accidentally crossed the U.S. border into Montana while playing the game “Pokemon Go.”

Indonesia has prohibited police officers from playing the game while on duty, and a French player was arrested last month after straying on to a military base while trying to catch Pokemon.

If you’re having trouble accessing Pokemon Go, why not check out some of the best VPNs for Iran.

Reina Ho

Reina Ho is a freelance reporter who focuses on censorship and information control in online space.

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