Iranian Internet users on Monday found secure access to Google's popular e-mail service Gmail restored for the first time since September 24 after the government accidentally blocked the service in an attempt to cut off Google's video sharing service YouTube, AFP quoted Iranian officials as saying.

According to the report, telecommunications ministry member Mohammad Reza Miri told the Mehr news agency, "Unfortunately, we do not yet have enough technical know-how to differentiate between these two services. We wanted to block YouTube and Gmail was also blocked, which was involuntary."

The report contradicts a statement by the Iranian government's official Internet censoring group, which on September 24 suddenly announced that "Google and Gmail will be filtered nationwide... until further notice," according to AFP. Access to the e-mail site using a secure "HTTPS" protocol was cut off, while unsecure "HTTP" access remained intact, according to AFP.

"We absolutely do not want YouTube to be accessible. That is why the telecommunications ministry is seeking a solution to fix the problem to block YouTube under the HTTPS protocol while leaving Gmail accessible. That will soon happen," Miri was quoted as saying.

Iran is working to develop an "Islamically correct," filtered Internet that will ban content deemed un-Islamic, AFP reported.

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