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Twitter Just Verified Iran’s National Soccer Team

Is this a sign of a Twitter thaw in Iran — or just practical pre-World Cup procedure?

1. Earlier today, Twitter began verifying members of Iran’s National Football team.

2. The verified players don’t have many followers — but as Twitter is technically banned in Iran, they are at a bit of a structural disadvantage.

3. Iran’s National Football team has qualified for the World Cup games set to start in Brazil next month. Iran’s Twitter-savvy Foreign Minister Javad Zarif is already verified — but will more Iranians be verified (cc @HassanRouhani) before the games begin?

“There are hundreds of World Cup players on Twitter, now representing every team in the tournament,” a Twitter spokesperson told BuzzFeed in an email. “Twitter is about bringing people closer to the action, in real time, and there’s no better way to do that than following the players themselves.”

No comment on the Iranians that still can’t access Twitter in Iran.

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