Iran bans pro-reform publications: report

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 05, 2011 5:09 PM
Iran bans pro-reform publications: report

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Two Iranian publications which carried articles critical of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's policies were shut down on Monday, the official Irna news agency reported.

Shahrvand-e Emrouz, a weekly reformist news magazine, was shut down for violating press laws, Irna reported without giving further details.

The daily Rouzegar was temporarily closed down for publishing propaganda, it said.

Both publications have had their licenses revoked in the past and subsequently reopened under their current names. The latest closures come ahead of parliamentary elections in the Islamic Republic next March.

"Rouzegar newspaper has been banned for two months because of propaganda against the establishment and also publishing the country's classified issues," Irna said.

Analysts say the move could be aimed at silencing critics and avoiding the revival of street protests which broke out after the contested re-election of Ahmadinejad in 2009.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said last week the vote in March posed a potential risk to the country's security and called for national unity.

The Islamic Republic's ruling elite is keen for the voting to pass off without similar unrest or, as seems more likely, a low turnout from disaffected voters.

Since 2000, Iran has closed more than 100 publications, accusing many of being "pawns of the West."

(Editing by Karolina Tagaris)