US virtual Iranian embassy received 2 mn page hits

Virtual US Embassy Tehran

The virtual US Embassy Tehran has received almost two million page hits from Iranians since its launch, the State Department said on the occasion of its first anniversary.

As part of its effort to directly reach out to the Iranians, the United States last year launched a virtual embassy as it does not have a diplomatic presence in Iran.

"Since its launch, the site has received almost two million page-hits from Iranians seeking information uncensored by their government, including US policy, visa information, study opportunities for Iranians in the United States, and cultural highlights such as a Virtual Music Ambassador series and a 'Poet's Corner' celebrating the work of Walt Whitman," State Department spokesman Mark Toner said.

"We're delighted by the response we've received from visitors to the site and the ongoing conversations we continue to enjoy on our affiliated USAdarFarsi Facebook page (which now has over 81,000 fans) and our Twitter, Google+, and YouTube platforms," Toner said.

"As the Virtual Embassy Tehran enters its second year, we plan to bring even more exciting and innovative content to Persian-language visitors and to promote freedom of expression, unfettered communication and access to information, and the continued exchange of ideas and opinions between the Iranian and American peoples," she said.

In her welcome video last year, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had said: "This is a platform for us to communicate with each other openly and without fear about the United States, about our policies, our culture, and the American people" despite the Iranian regime's efforts to control the flow of information to and from the Iranian people.

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