ran will give its citizens individual email addresses in a move to aid interaction between state authorities and the people.
It is unclear whether the initiative will add to regulations on internet use imposed by Iran’s conservative Islamist leadership, which is wary of secular cultural influences it blames on the West.
President-elect Hassan Rouhani, a relative moderate who takes office next month, has called for less state intervention in people’s private lives, including less filtering of the internet and a loosening of press regulation.
More than half of the Islamic republic’s 75 million people use the internet, official figures show.
But authorities have tried to limit access with tools including a filter that blocks many websites on the grounds they are offensive or criminal.
In March, authorities blocked software used to get around the filter.
Many people said they experienced slower internet speeds ahead of the June 14 election in Iran, which critics saw as an apparent attempt to make it harder to organise pro-reform candidate rallies via social media.
Communications minister Mohammad Hassan Nami did not say whether the national email addresses would be mandatory or how they might affect Iranians’ use of their own private addresses.
But he said the official addresses must be used for electronic communication with government agencies.
“For mutual interaction and communication between the government and the people, from now on every Iranian will receive a special email address,” the semi-official Mehr news agency quoted Mr Nami as saying.
“With the assignment of an email address to every Iranian, government interactions with the people will take place electronically.”
The email addresses, using the “mail.post.ir” domain, will help maintain citizens’ privacy, he said.
Data centres are to be set up throughout Iran to support the new system.
Officials have also announced plans to switch Iranians onto a domestic internet network which would be largely isolated from the web.