Iranians are no longer allowed to catch Pikachus after authorities decided to ban the Pokemon Go mobile game because of security concerns.
The Monday report by the semi-official ISNA news agency quotes Abolhasan Firouzabadi, the head of Iran's Supreme Council of Virtual Space as saying that the game is "not appropriate" because of concerns over its use of "location-based virtual reality technology."
Firouzabadi said that any such game or application would need to get permission from the country's Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance.
Since the game was introduced, it had not been accessible in Iran without using VPNs or proxies. It's usage among Iranians has also been limited by the country's low-speed Internet service.
It was a cause of some lament among Olympians who arrived in Rio to find that Pokemon Go wasn't there to greet them. US diver and 2012 silver medalist Abby Johnston tweeted that "the worst thing about the Olympic village" was how she couldn't find a way to play the game there. A few days later, that issue is solved.
Some members of Germany's field hockey team said they caught a "special" Pokemon character in the athletes' village, though it turned out that they were only posing for a photo with world No. 1 tennis player and fellow Olympian Novak Djokovic. And star men's Olympic gymnast Kohei Uchimura of Japan told media from his country that he racked up a $5,000 phone bill using so much data trying to play the game leading up to the games.
Written with inputs from AP