September 27th, 2013
08:19 PM ET

The mystery of Hassan Rouhani's Twitter account

People are excited about President Obama's historic conversation with Iranian president Hassan Rouhani by phone.

It is a big milestone. Sure, it might have been better if it was face-to-face, yet it could have been a lot worse. 

President Obama is a very web-savvy leader, routinely using social media to share his thoughts. And whether we like it or not, we're hurtling towards a time when these diplomatic interactions could occur online.

Skype, Email, Facebook, even Twitter. Well, maybe not Twitter.

Because while President Obama has a verified Twitter account, meaning he stands behind everything that comes from it, the Iranian president does not. In fact, the Iranian government wouldn't confirm to us directly that @HassanRouhani is actually the Iranian president's official account.

We know the Iranian government is using the account, so why not come out and confirm and give us the little blue check mark?

When I asked the Iranians this week about a tweet from that account, I said: "Can I take that as confirmation that he approved that tweet (and by extension, that any tweet from this account is endorsed by the President of Iran even though it is sent by a staffer). Is this fair?" I was not given an answer.

A world leader is accountable for what he or she does, says, and tweets. The Iranians should verify the account, and I don't mean add a little blue checkmark. Say yes, these are the words of our leader, and he stands by them.

Because if Iran wants what it says it wants – serious, negotiations on its nuclear program and economic sanctions – the real Hassan Rouhani needs to please stand up.

Filed under: Iran • Social Media • Tech
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