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Iran: Banned daily's staff issue statement, hope for fair investigation

Tehran, May 24, IRNA-A day after the Persian daily `Iran' was closed, its staff and writers on Tuesday afternoon issued a statement calling on the judiciary to launch a fair investigation over the daily's closure.

The Press Supervisory Board, by a majority vote of its members, ordered the Persian `Iran' newspaper Tuesday to shut down on charges of publishing provocative materials and fomenting discord.

The newspaper, in a special edition on Friday, published a satirical cartoon in its Children's Page deemed insulting to the Azari people.

"At this critical juncture in global history when our country is facing numerous threats and plots, can closure of this paper serve our national interests?" asked the statement.

It referred to the paper's "active role in the dissemination of information based on the national interests during the country's difficult years."

"No objective witness can deny the daily's contribution to the forging of national solidarity and creation of a favorable general consensus during past major crises," stressed the statement.

"As staff of Iran (daily) we attest that all those involved in the creation of the cartoon are among colleagues who truly care and attach great importance to national solidarity and had no intention of fomenting discord," it further said.

It called on the judiciary to "launch an accurate and documented investigation over the daily's closure so that the truth will be revealed that the mistake was that of one of the daily's journalists and not part of a planned conspiracy to sow discord."

"A media publication which has the honor of carrying the name `Iran' will never entertain the idea of creating discord" among the people, concluded the statement.

... Payvand News - 5/24/06 ... --

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