According to the head of Iran’s Supreme Council of Cyberspace, messaging apps are not obligated to obtain license.
During an interview with Fars News, Seyed Abolhassan Firouzabadi, the head of Iran’s Supreme Council of Cyberspace stated that messaging apps in Iran are not obliged to obtain license. He added that if a messaging app company decides to obtain a license, as a bonus it will receive privileges and special facilities. “If foreign messaging apps obtain license, we will secure their operations; and if they accept our conditions in the country they’ll be able to continue their activities,” said Firouzabadi. He added that foreign messaging apps can continue their operations as long as they don’t cause ethical or security violations.
The government had previously set regulations and guidelines for messaging apps that want to officially operate in Iran. Incentive policies for Iranian messaging apps are also part of the government’s program to help the local startups. Last week Iran’s Vice Presidency for Science and Technology announced that the government is giving out grants to eligible messaging app companies with a considerable number of users. According to this statement by the government, local messaging apps with over 1 million active users will receive a billion Toman grant (around $260K) and the ones with over 5 million active users will receive up to 3 billion Toman.
During the interview, Firouzabadi also mentioned that 18% of university graduates in Iran have studied Information Technology or other similar fields, that’s why the government should develop the cyberspace services in accordance with the market development. He added that the market size of ICT in Iran is currently between 12 to 14 billion dollars, but it’s anticipated to reach to 40 billion dollars in the next 5 years.
In the past 4 years, many East Asian and European countries signed cooperation deals with the Iranian government in the ICT sector. Not to mention that President Rouhani has been betting big to further develop the ICT infrastructure in Iran and has invested hefty budgets in various fields.
Do you think Iran would be able to attract foreign IT companies to officially operate in the country while accepting the local conditions?