1 Jun 2013

Internet equipment ban on Iran lifted by US

7:00 am on 1 June 2013

The United States has eased a ban on the sale of internet and other communications equipment to Iran.

The decision allows American companies to sell mobile phones and computers to individual Iranians.

The BBC reports the move is intended to promote political freedom for Iranians.

In a statement, the Treasury department said it would allow sales of equipment and software to Iranians, but said the government and people on a list of "specially designated nationals" remained barred from export licences.

The first round of a presidential election is due to be held on 14 June in Iran. Social media played a prominent role in the last elections in 2009.