AFP, Tehran, 09 March 2010 — Iran’s press watchdog has warned 17 publications, including a leading reformist daily, accusing them of having breached media regulations, Mehr news agency reported on Tuesday.
Mohammad Ali Ramin, a watchdog official and deputy culture and Islamic guidance minister, said the publications were "not committed to journalistic duties, breached media regulations, printed superficial materials and propagated materialism."
The leading reformist daily, Bahar (Spring), was accused of having published "rumours and lies," Ramin said, quoted by Mehr.
The other 16 journals warned were: Nasl Emrouz, Banu Shargi, Ayne Zendegi, Payamavar, Sepidar, Pishkhan, Zendegi Irani, Medad Rangi, Zendegi Edeal, Ruiesh, Kohenoor, Tohid, Rahe Zendegi, Sinamaye Emrouz, Chelcheragh and Football.
The latest warning comes soon after Iranian authorities closed another leading reformist paper, Etemad (Confidence), on March 1 as part of an ongoing crackdown on reformist groups, journalists and the political opposition.
The Islamic republic’s hardline press watchdog has in the past months banned several publications.
The authorities have cracked down on the media and arrested scores of journalists since anti-government protests erupted after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s disputed re-election last June.
His victory bitterly divided Iran’s political elite amid persistent allegations the election was massively rigged in his favour.
Ahmadinejad’s government has cracked down on critical media, mostly in the rival reformist camp, but some conservative publications have also been hit by closures.