back to article Yahoo! Mail and Hotmail strike out Iran

Yahoo! and Microsoft have removed Iran from the country lists of their webmail services as stronger US sanctions against the Islamic republic begin to bite. Google has kept Iran as an option on the Gmail registration page, however. The US administration stepped up economic pressure on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's eccentric …


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  1. Anonymous Coward


    I for one, would take this opportunity just to give 'em a good tweaking.

    Don't remove Iran from the country listing, just limit their choices to "Israel" and "U.S.A."

  2. yeah, right.

    One rule?

    If American companies are subject to American law, doesn't that mean that Yahoo's and Google's protests at their having to follow Chinese law are somewhat hollow?

    Or is there one rule for those who own lots of American treasury bonds, and another for those who essentially resource targets for the next American land grab?

  3. John A Blackley

    As I understand it

    @yeah, right

    Companies that operate in multiple countries must comply with the laws of each country in which they operate. Where two countries' laws conflict, the company usually complies with the law of the country in which its main office is registered.

    You'll find the same thing applies to British companies so please search for another lame-ass excuse to badmouth America and Americans.

  4. Andrew

    Shouldn't the headline be:

    Yahoo! Mail! (and Hotmail) Strike! Out! Iran!

  5. Kwac
    Black Helicopters

    please search

    for another lame-ass excuse to badmouth America and Americans.

    Is this what is known as "generalisation"?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    @John A Blackley


    because they're thickies & fatties

    and they smell of poo & wee?

    that do you john me old china???

  7. Gower


    so this helps international relations how? to me its merely a way of severing communications between joe bloggs and joe bloggs... "NATIONAL SECURITY!!!" f*** that, I 'd rather people of threat were using hackable channels for communication then strongly encrypted undetectable methods...

    whats the point?

    peaceful goals are reached through discussion not by cutting people off

  8. Graham Lockley

    DUMB !

    'peaceful goals are reached through discussion not by cutting people off'

    Sorry but that idea is dumb ! Next thing you will be suggesting that people actually TALK to each other and try walking a mile in each others shoes !

    Sorry but thats no way to run an empire, shock and awe produce more efficient returns.

  9. James Condron


    Surely Amerikkka don't truly believe that removing a country from a list of sign ups will negate the impact of the country and it's effect on anything?

    Why not do Pakistan for what they're actually doing, as opposed to Iran for what they're allegedly doing?

    Silly bastards

  10. Yudi Djalal


    Its amusing to see that everyday the Americans rages on about terrorists bombing innocent people, when they are happy to take away free information from innocent people in 3rd world countries to further isolate them. Then they wonder where the terrorist came from?

  11. Anonymous Coward


    @Yudi Djalal: Spot on!

    Does anybody fill in these forms with real names, addresses and tel numbers? I mean, according to my email account, my name is John Doe and I live in Kabul, Afghanistan ... at the time, when I registered, I lived in Bordeaux, France ... and it was like 1997 ...

    Are they at least blocking IP Address ranges, if not, they are taking the piss out of the American gov!

  12. The Sceptic

    Bollocks Two

    Never heard so much dribble in a long time!

    Why stop a means of monitoring? Maybe the case that Yahoo and Microsoft are about to be booted out & they are just trying to get in first to save face.

    This should let other countries realise that they should get their own systems in place and not to rely on anything American (other than the ability to buy weapons).

    This is a new level of stupidity - as has been proven before, sanctions only increase tension and hostility. The children using these services will grow up pissed off because they can't talk to relations elsewhere.

    Stop spitting the dummy and acting like amateurs.

  13. Erick Wagoner

    If they can cut off access to Iran.....

    Couldn't they also cut off the access from the Nigerians, etc, bombarding everyone with their "free money" scams?

    I am confused about Yahoo!'s and Microsoft's actions here. When all the sanctions were going against Saddam and his merry band, I don't recall ever hearing of their e-mail getting cut off (perhaps I was out of the loop?).

    If you wait until next year, perhaps Hillary and her Merry Maidens will be in charge, and they can all sit down for tea and sort it all out, unless she is in her "I hate all men, especially my husband" mode, then you might want to get out the radiation suits.

    <Coat, Hat, Door>

  14. AndyB
    Dead Vulture

    Freedom of Speech

    Well, at least we have freedom of speech here.......

    Unless the article is by a certain Mr Orlowski........

  15. bambi

    That hurt

    I feel sorry for the 3 Iranians that used Hotmail these sanctions must really be biting....

  16. Shaun Vizer
    Black Helicopters

    Don't you all get it!

    It's the first stage for invasion!

    I must go now I am sure I hear some black choppers coming in....

  17. David Farrell


    So if I get this right, they're simply removing Iran from the list of countries in the signup form? So if you're in Iran you can still sign up for an account, you just have choose another country.

    Wow. That'll show those pesky Iranians!

  18. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    @John A Blackley

    So basically you're saying that US companies abroad have to comply with foreign laws, but they obey US laws when at home ? What insight ! In one fell stroke you basically justify Yahoo! China's turning over personal details of dissidents, AND Yahoo! US boldly refusing to let Iranians sign up as Iranians. Wow.

    Really, John, we don't need to SEARCH for "another lame-ass excuse to badmouth America and Americans", all we have to do is wait for one to present itself. It's like waiting for the bus, can't be more than an hour.

  19. Alex

    Obligatory sarcasm

    The US governments stated aim of promoting democracy in Iran surely sits well with limiting free speech in the country. And, as has already been said, it won't even make a difference if it only means Iranians have to pick another country to sign up. Or they can just go elsewhere.

    @Andy B

    I've noticed the lack of comments sections Mr Orlowski's articles too. The first time I it was puzzling. Now it just seems melodramatic. Oh well, they're his articles...

  20. Rich Harding

    Let me get this straight

    So the idea is that, if you're an Iranian dissident, the US want you to use a local mail provider instead?


  21. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo


    "..shock and awe produce more efficient returns"

    yep ofcourse, and we can all see how Iraq is such as shining example of that.

  22. Anonymous Coward

    Propaganda wording

    What exactly do you mean by 'eccentric government' Chris?

  23. joe

    long term effects

    First, in response to one point: I think regardless of where the company is based, if you are a citizen of country A and are sitting in country A when the the police come knocking with a warrant, you're going to be expected to comply with that warrant, and pointing to the flag of country B under your corporate logo isn't going to carry a whole lot of weight with the friendly sgt. at the ministry of public security.

    But there might be a positive long term effect of this idiocy: as Americans become a smaller and smaller percentage of total internet users, maybe we'll get to the point where a few of the big net players don't bother doing business in the states at all. Who was it that said the internet views censorship as damage and routes around it?

  24. Greg


    Absolutely pathetic. What the hell are this bunch of Hoo-Ya!s expecting?

    'Ha! We fear not their armies, or their bombs! We will stand against them!'

    'Sir, they've taken our country off the Yahoo! mail signup list!'

    'Oh my Allah! They'll cripple our economy! Quickly! Surrender our sovereignty!'

    Imbeciles. This is on the same level as 'freedom fries.' Pointless wasteful towing of the party line to help gear people up for another unjustified war.

  25. Smell My Finger

    Re: Let me get this straight

    Spot on Rich -- surely it makes sense in the interests of peace and democracy that we keep the lines of communication open and let the dissidents inside the country tell the story their own government won't. The dissidants of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc were extremely significant in making sure the rest of the world knew the real story behind the official lies. Oh, I see now why we want to shut them up's much easier for the West to fabricate its own straw men without pesky Iranians actually telling us what's really happening.



    What the hell kind of people run these companies.

    Has the US Mail or the British Post Office stopped sending or receiving mail from Iran? No, so why would Microsoft and Yahoo do such a stupid thing. By allowing the people of Iran to send out emails we can better understand what is happening there.

  27. Marco

    Isn't this aiding terrorism?

    After all Iranians now won't be able to waste their time with email accounts ridden to the brim with spam.

  28. Tim J

    FFS let's just get on with it

    No sensible person will rejoice in the idea of bombing Iran, but let's just get on with it and get it over with, and sort out Iran once and for all. Denying them Hotmail accounts isn't going to sort out the Ayatollahs, but a dose of explosive American military hardware just might.

  29. Anonymous Coward

    Oh yeah

    My Yahoo account thinks I'm in the USA because I wasn't paying attention when I created it and can't be arsed to tell it I'm really in the UK.

  30. Eduardo

    @ Tim J

    Of course!

    Because bombing Iraq really sorted out problems there, eh?

  31. captain kangaroo


    Why are the US imposing sanctions on Iran? I don't remember...

    Is it because of their paranoia about their nuclear program, bunch of ar$e if it is...

    The IAEA in August this years said "the IAEA accepted that earlier statements made by Iran [on the issue of plutonium] are consistent with the agency's findings, and thus this matter is resolved."

    It's like Iraqi WMD, they're simply not creating nuclear weapons. There is no evidence of it, and no reason to think that they would really. This all smacks of the CIA's assertion during the cold war, that the Russians where developing invisible weaponry, and the fact that there was no trace of them was further evidence of Russia's advanced cloaking abilities. It's maddening and frightening that the US are such belligerent wankers, it would be funny if it wasn't fueling bad feeling amongst non western societies and thus de-stabalising the entire planet...

  32. Anonymous Coward

    Sanctions for Iranian regime or Iranian people?!!!

    As a citizen of Iran , I am deeply sorry for Yahoo! and microsft official for not beeing able to distinguish between Citizens and Governments,

    American government has always said that these sanctions are not against Iranian citizens at all , now apparently someone is lying , either the US government or Yahoo! and Microsoft officials.

    Being a user of both companies for a long time , I'm sorry for myself for trusting these two for a long time.

    Particularly Yahoo! officials have already proved their mendacity , in the case of that chinese antagonist , so there is no wonder to hear more about their unlawful an inhumane actions .


    Apparently , NO!

  33. Marco

    Re: Sanctions for Iranian regime or Iranian people?!!!

    Human rights? You got to be kidding! There is a difference between not getting a Yahoo account and stoning someone to death or threatening the very existence of another country.

  34. Anonymous Coward

    Re:Re: Sanctions for Iranian regime or Iranian people?!!!


    Marco , I think you are misleading the subject. I preferred to just talk about the topic. but anyway.

    Is that me ( a Yahoo! or Microsoft user ) that stone people to death Or those living in faraway vilages not being able to communicate with the world and getting true information?

    Be realistic , some of you claim that you're living in the free world and you have liberal minds , but your action shows something else. It's a pity that guys who think they are absolutely liberal and supporting human rights , are not even capable to see the truth.

    I advice you to take a deeper look at Iranian people and culture before critisizing them for their actions. If you don't have enough information , it's easy , just google a few key words about iranian people and you will find the truth.

    We belong to a 5000 year old culture , and the very first manifest of human rights belongs to us created by Cirus The Great ( Search for Cyrus Cylinder in Babylon ).

    We were the first nation who sheltered Jews . ( According to the Bible ) Iranians rebuilt their demolished holy temple in jerusalem, fallowing an edict from Cyrus and returned them to their promised lands.

    Stoning people to death is not what our traditions suggest , but it belong to Arabs . They attacked Iran (632 CE ) and fiercely killed our men and women and children and imposed their barbar traditions on our land.

    My last advice : Be wise , extend your area of information before turning the world into another mortal war. Just think a little then act as your brain tells you.

  35. Gerard

    Simply stupid and counterproductive

    It doesn't make any sense to block digital access if they (US) are suppossedly promoving freedom and more democracy around the world (Iran is a democracy, like it or not).

    Why? Because the people more affected in Iran should be precisely the opponents to Ahmadijenad, and/or those more 'modern' or westernized.

    Again, another proof of the US government obssesion with Iran. As many analysts point out, Pakistan, a dictatorship with 180 mill population, proofs of real nuclear capacity, unstable situation and with strong presence of fundamentalist groups, should be a factor of more concern to US security in near future.

  36. mahdi

    love for all

    we just want to use this technology to spread love in the world

  37. sarah


    its not fair,,,,,,,,,wats our failut??when the goverment do n decide

    the problem between the goverment shouldnt effect on the pple

  38. Sahar

    So what?

    I have said this so many times in my classes: The only dif between Iran and the US government is thst Bush is more good-looking than Ahmadi nejad! :D

    But when we talk about the nations- the people- they are both the same! Idiots! Otherwise we would just change our governments and stop ruining other people's lives and wasting our time on stupid issues.

    Americans love war. (I'm talking baout the government) They can't live without it...and they cna get away with ANYTHING coz their people don't care as long as they have food and shelter!

    And the Irania governmnet? the dif is here.....US government feeds it's people so that they won't attack it's mad policies and the irania government uses the old dictatorship policy! And 'fear God!" thing!

    So what if I can't create a new account using my country's name? This account i have was created in australia and I have been passing around my asutralia postal code in all my classes thatnls to me all my students can create accounts and use the 'cyber' world to exchnage info- the only explainable reason for preventing Iranians from signing in as an Iranian!

    americans are quickly loosing ground even between the Irania people thanks to their 'stupidity' or ignorance. ( call it what ever u like)

    Oh F it all! Seize the day! Let's have fun while it lasts...the next thing u know US soldiers 'll be at my door either to kill or rape me! the i can show 'em my account and argue that I;m really an aussie coz that's what my account info says!

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