Saudi Arabia has urged Iran to provide unhindered internet access to Cristiano Ronaldo, the renowned footballer playing for Saudi Arabian team Al-Nassr during his stay in Iran.

Access to many international messaging apps and websites are blocked in Iran for both political and religious reasons.

The request comes in response to statements made by Iran's Minister of Tourism and Cultural Heritage, Ezzatollah Zarghami, who emphasized the necessity for Ronaldo to install Iranian domestic messaging apps during his visit to the country.

Zarghami's comments followed remarks made by the CEO of Persepolis Football Club during a live television program, where he discussed providing unfiltered SIM cards to Al-Nassr players traveling to Tehran for a match on September 19.

In the wake of significant reactions within the Persian-speaking online community regarding these statements, the official Saudi Arabian account, communicated in Persian, stating, "For the convenience of international stars and Al-Nassr team members during their time in Tehran, please recommend the best VPN."

The development has sparked discussions online, with some social media users viewing it as a potential source of embarrassment for the Islamic Republic.

During the last twenty years, Iran has implemented stringent internet censorship policies, curbing citizens' access to unrestricted information. This includes the blocking X, Facebook, Instagram and reputable news sources. Nevertheless, these constraints have been bypassed extensively through the widespread adoption of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and anti-filtering software.

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