Instagram Iran
A screen displays the Instagram logo during a presentation by co-founder Kevin Systrom.Reuters

An Iranian court has ordered the blocking of the photo-sharing app Instagram because of privacy concerns, according to the semiofficial Mehr News Agency.

A court order was issued following a private lawsuit, ordering the Iranian Ministry of Telecommunications to ban the site.

However, Iranian users of social media could still access Instagram after the order was issued and have been using proxy servers to bypass any censorship.

The Instagram ban has added to the growing list of social media sites that are inaccessible, with Facebook, Twitter and YouTube already banned in the Islamic Republic.

The move to ban social media sites comes despite the moderate President of Iran Hassan Rouhani holding social media accounts on Instagram and Twitter.

"We should see the cyberworld as an opportunity," Rouhani said last week, according to the official IRNA news agency. "Why are we so shaky? Why don't we trust our youth?"

Hardline Iranian officials have accused Rouhani of failing to prevent the spread of Western culture in Iran.

For example, six young Iranians were this week arrested for dancing to the Pharrell Williams song "Happy" before being released.

In another incident, Iranian actress Leila Hatami has been reported to the country's courts by activists who wish to see her publicly flogged for kissing the Cannes Festival president on the cheek.

Officials at Instagram Inc. declined to comment.