UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) — Iran banned all people in the country from using the popular messaging app, Telegram.

State television announced the ban April 30.

The decision comes less than two weeks after Iranian lawmakers banned government entities from using Telegram.

Authorities say the decision was made in the interest of national security.

Iran has considered banning Telegram since economic protests erupted in late 2017. Officials believe the app gave protesters a platform for organizing rallies.

The office of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei previously said the ban would also end Telegram’s monopoly on social media services in Iran.

Telegram allows users to send encrypted messages and write posts to large groups.

The messaging service had an estimated 40 million Iranian users, making it more popular than WhatsApp in the country.

Iran’s National Cyberspace Center revoked Telegram’s operating license last week.

The government is now promoting the use of its own messaging app called Soroush.