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Updated Monday, December 10, 2012 at 05:51 AM

Iran's version of YouTube hits the Web

The Associated Press

Iran says it has launched a video-sharing website in the latest move to create government-sanctioned alternatives to Internet powerhouses such as YouTube.

The Web page of Iranian state TV says the new site - Mehr, or affection in Farsi - seeks to promote Iranian and Islamic culture and artists. It's unclear, however, how heavily the site, www.mehr.ir, will be monitored or censored.

Western websites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are blocked by Iranian officials, who claim Western bloggers and governments are waging a "soft war" against the Islamic Republic.

Iran also says it is seeking to create its own Internet universe scrubbed of Western content, but experts in cyber-technology question whether any country can completely break away from it.


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