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Iran Press watchdog shuts popular weekly Shahrvand-e Emrouz

Press TV - Iran's Press watchdog temporarily closes the reformist weekly Shahrvand-e Emrouz for the unauthorized publication of political content.

Shahrvand-e Emrouz

After days of speculation about the fate of the weekly, the country's Press Supervisory Board officially announced the decision to close the newsmagazine in a Saturday letter to Shahrvand-e Emrouz (Today's Citizen).

"The weekly was temporarily suspended for failing to meet commitments made by its publisher," read the letter according to the Kargozaran daily.

According to Fars news agency, Shahrvand-e Emrouz has been suspended for the 'unrealistic portrayal of government actions.'

The weekly has often published controversial interviews and articles criticizing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's policies.

In its Sunday editorial, the popular weekly criticized the president's stance on the impeachment of interior minister Ali Kordan over his forged Oxford University degree.

The suspension comes as earlier Wednesday, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei criticized the media hype against the government and advised the press against unconstructive criticism of the Ahmadinejad administration.

"The Islamic system's accomplishments have not been easily achieved and therefore personal grudges and enmity toward the government can never wreak havoc on the foundations of the system," said the Leader.

Ayatollah Khamenei's warning came after the Iranian Parliament (Majlis) dismissed Kordan after he admitted to holding a forged degree.

The Kordan affair has been the focus of Iranian media over the past months.

The magazine's lawyer, Mahmoud Alizadeh-Tabatabai, said the Press watchdog had ordered the suspension of Shahrvand-e Emrouz on the basis that the weekly '[has been] licensed as a cultural and social publication and therefore cannot publish political material.'

... Payvand News - 11/10/08 ... --

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