Hugh Pickens writes writes "Not to be outdone by the Pope joining Twitter, Brian Fung reports that Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei joined Facebook on December 13 and already has been liked by over 6,000 users. The @khamenei_ir handle is thought to be run directly by the Iranian government. Like that one, Khamenei's Facebook profile bears the Supreme Leader's official seal and follows the same username style (khamenei [punctuation] ir) that defines his presence on other social media outlets. US based social media sites are blocked in Iran by a wide-reaching government censor but they are still commonly used by millions of Iranians who use special software to get around the ban. Experts say the social media accounts show that Iran, despite restricting access to such sites show that Iran is keen to use social media to spread its world view to a global audience. "Social media gives the regime leadership another medium of communication, one that can share their message with a younger and far more international demographic," says Afshon Ostovar, a Middle East analyst at CNA, a US-based research organization."