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More Warnings For Iranian Press


Source: Radio Zamaneh

Iran's Ministry of Culture has issued warnings for 15 newspapers for "spreading rumours" and "representing a false image of the country's situation." Seven of them were reprimanded for publishing the statements of Mohammad Khatami, the former president, who is currently considered as one of the chief leaders of the opposition.

Mohammad Khatami, speaking in a meeting with recently released political prisoners, expressed deep concern over the "deepening of crisis in Iran." Ministry of Culture claims according to Mohammad Khatami "supporters of the government are destroying the country's unity."

Five other newspapers were warned for publishing the latest statements of conservative Member of Parliament, Ali Motahari, and accused of "insulting the president."

In an interview, Ali Motahari had criticized the actions of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during the candidate debates of the presidential campaign and claimed they were at the root of the "sedition" that took place after the elections.

Motahari thus added that "if leaders of the sedition are to apologize to the people, it is only fair that Ahamedinejad also apologizes to the people too."

Reporting the statements of Hassan Rohani, the representative of the Supreme Leader, was also cause for written warnings issued to 12 newspapers. Ministry of Culture believes that Mr. Rohani gives "a false image" of Iran's economic situation.

In a speech last week, Hassan Rohani had made references to lack of freedom in the security-laden atmosphere of the country.

In the past week, three news publications were banned. A large part of the government crackdown on post-election protests in Iran is concentrated on restricting and closing down newspapers as well as arresting journalists. Reporters Without Borders report that 42 journalists and webloggers are currently incarcerated in Iran.

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