In an ongoing protest which has lasted for almost a week now, the Iranian government restricted access to social media at the height of the protests over the weekend, but many Iranians also use VPNs so the government cannot track their online activity.
“We want to encourage the protesters to continue to fight for what’s right and to open up Iran,” Goldstein said.
He said social media apps were “legitimate avenues of communication.”
“And people in Iran and throughout should be able to access those sites.”
The anti-government protests, the most powerful challenge to the regime in years, appeared to have fizzled Thursday, after a claim by Revolutionary Guards commander Mohammad Ali Jafari that the unrest was officially over.
No more than 42,000 people have taken part in the anti-government protests since December 28, Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli said, according to the semiofficial Iranian Student News Agency
Forty-two thousand isn’t a high number, Fazli said, adding that protests are “normal occurrences and happen in all countries.”
On Wednesday, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps pinned the number at 15,000. CNN has not been able to verify either number.
However the protest have lead to the dead of at least 21 people who were killed and 450 were arrested in the protests, many in clashes with security forces trying to quell the rallies.