Iran's judiciary has suspended publication of a hard-line conservative newspaper over a provocative front-page story that suggested Dubai could become the next target of a missile attack by Yemen's Huthi rebels after they fired rockets at the Saudi capital.
The prosecutor's office said on November 8 that the daily Kayhan will be
suspended for two days, starting on November 11, for disregarding a warning from
the Press Supervisory Board that the headline contravened Iran's national
security and national interests.
Kayhan published the headline on November 6, amid escalating tensions between regional rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia over Riyadh's accusations that Tehran had supplied the Shi'ite Huthi rebels with missiles.
Kayhan -- a harsh critic of the government of President Hassan Rohani, a self-proclaimed moderate -- defended the headline on November 7 and said that it had merely reported on threats made by Huthis.
The daily said that it was in Iran's national interests to defend Yemen's people, rather than "Dubai's skyscrapers."
Tehran has denied involvement.
Iran's official news agency, IRNA, said that the prosecutor's office had issued the suspension order following a complaint by the secretariat of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, which had said that Kayhan's headline countered Iran's regional and security policies.
Iranian government spokesman Mohammad Baqer Nobakht said earlier this week that Kayhan's move was a "clear media violation."
Kayhan editor Hossein Shariatmadari said on November 8 that he had not received the suspension order, and appeared to question whether it was issued.
Shariatmadari said he believed that the authorities would be unlikely to suspend Kayhan over what he described as "defending Yemen's oppressed Muslims."
With reporting by IRNA, Fars, and Kayhan
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