Google To Offer Picasa, Earth And Chrome In Iran

Search giant Google is set to offer its web services in Iran after the US government granted it a communications trade license to distribute its products in the country.

Picasa, Chrome and mapping service Google Earth will all be made available for download in Iran, but according to the license, not to those using IP addresses from within the Iranian government.

The company will not be offering the Google Talk IM tool in the country.

Scott Rubin, Google's head of public policy and communications for Europe, Middle East and Africa told The Guardian: “We're not confident with the security we could provide to keep those conversations private. Any government that wants to might be able to get into those conversations, and we wouldn't want to provide a tool with the illusion of privacy if it wasn't completely secure.”

Rubin added that, of the four countries subject to US trade restrictions - Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Cuba - Iran is the only one to be granted such a license.

"We had to figure out how to release these downloads in a way that gives security to users. There's no foolproof solution but we believe the strongest possibilities are for these three products."