In an announcement, Iranian Government’s deputy minister said on Sunday, that Google Inc’s search engine and its email service would be blocked “within a few hours”. The official said, “Google and Gmail will be filtered throughout the country until further notice,” notes Reuters.

It is believed by many within the country that the recent ‘Innocence of Muslim’ video that has received a lot of criticism from Islamic countries is the primary reason behind the Iranian Government decision of the blockade.

Iran has made it a point to block social networking sites, video sites and the likes on official grounds thus preventing Iranians from accessing plenty of similar sites. Local citizens believe that the government is blocking sites that are anti-government or support anti-government protests. The only way left for Iranians to get connected to blocked sites is through the use of VPN services allowing them to bypass one of the largest filtering systems.

The Iranian Government has been supporting the idea of a private Internet for the locals in a bid to isolate the masses from the World Wide Web.

Ali Hakim-Javadi, Deputy Communications and Technology Minister, said, “In recent days, all governmental agencies and offices … have been connected to the national information network,” notes Mehr news agency. According to the minister, the second phase of the plan would be to connect ordinary Iranians to the national network.

Iranian media believes that the private Internet will be ready by March 2013 and that it will be fully functional but, there has been no confirmation from the government about the implementation dates.