London 2012 Olympics off to a false start in Iran, where the official website is now blocked

London 2012 Olympics off to a false start in Iran, where the official website is now blocked

In a disappointing move, we have learned that the official website for the London 2012 Olympics has been blocked in Iran, according to reports from local site, Kabir News.

Internet censorship is certainly nothing new in Iran, with sites using the secure SSL protocol blocked in February, the US Virtual Embassy blocked last December, and even we at The Next Web getting the boot last October.

Websites that find themselves targeted by the Iranian government are often political in nature, or contain content that Iranian authorities have deemed immoral.

The decision to block this site is somewhat puzzling, particularly in light of the fact that Iran has a history of participating at the Olympic Games, and even sent a female skier to the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games.

However, Iran’s track record with the International Olympic Committee has been rocky at best. Last year, Iranian authorities threatened to boycott the games, over claims that the London 2012 logo spells the word ‘Zion’, and represents a ‘pro-Israeli conspiracy’.

The site BlockedInIran shows that the London 2012 site is still accessible in the country, but Tehran-based Twitter user Mahdi confirmed to The Next Web that the site has in fact been blocked.

He provided  the following screenshot (click to enlarge):

Despite threatening to boycott, Iran is slated to participate in the games after all, and has a total of 40 athletes set to compete.

Cutting off Iranian fans from one of the main sources of news during the Olympics seems like a bizarre way to show support for the country’s athletes.

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