Google will start translating Farsi, the native language of Iran, into English, the Internet giant announced Friday. The move is intended to help spread news and information on the Iranian election crisis.

The ability to communicate between Farsi and English via the Google Translate service is "particularly important now, given ongoing events in Iran," the Internet giant said in a news release.

"Like YouTube and other services, Google Translate is one more tool that Persian speakers can use to communicate directly to the world, and vice versa -- increasing everyone's access to information."

The Web — particularly social media sites — has proved a key lifeline for protesters in Iran who have been holding mass demonstrations after the Iranian government declared President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had been re-elected in a landslide victory last Friday.

Google's new service will make it possible for Iranians to translate "Persian into English and from English into Persian -- whether it's a news story, a website, a blog, an email, a tweet or a Facebook message."

Supporters of reformist candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi have used social sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube to share news with the outside world; foreign journalists have been prohibited from covering the protests.

Currently the Google service is limited to work between Farsi and English, but the search engine is working to expand the translations with the other 40 languages supported by the Google Translate service.