He was president when Twitter was banned; now he's tweeting

Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has joined Twitter, which he previously opposed.

Story highlights

  • Social platform was used in 2009 protests
  • Message offers 'peace and love'

(CNN)Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad -- who was in office when the country banned access to Twitter -- joined the social media platform Sunday.

After his re-election in 2009, anti-government protesters used Twitter to help coordinate and organize the Green Movement, sometimes called the "Twitter revolution."
    Iran's leaders responded by blocking access to Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites. Ordinary Iranian citizens still were able to access Twitter using illegal VPN software
    "In the name of God, Peace be upon all the freedom loving people of the world #Imontwitter," says the first tweet from Ahmadinejad, who was president of Iran from 2005-13.
    Authorities in Iran partially lifted the Twitter restriction late last year, according to the Campaign for Human Rights, but the country still heavily censors access to the Internet. Some leading Iranians maintain Twitter accounts, including current President Hassan Rouhani.

    Page includes video message in English

    Ahmadinejad's new Twitter page includes a recorded request for followers.
    He starts his message with the traditional Muslim greeting, "In the name of God, the most merciful and most compassionate."
    He then speaks in English, saying, "Follow me at @Ahmadinejad1956. That's me. Peace and love and best wishes."
    Ahmadinejad's Twitter profile says, "Husband, Dad, Grandfather, University Professor, President, Mayor, Proud Iranian."
    Iran's presidential election is scheduled for May. Some close to Ahmadinejad, 60, are urging him to run.