April 19, 2010 / 2:53 PM / 10 years ago

Iran shuts down prominent reformist newspaper

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran banned a prominent reformist newspaper on Monday, one of the few still allowed to operate since the aftermath of June’s disputed election, state news agencies reported.

The Press Supervisory Board banned Bahar daily “for repeatedly violating the press law”, the semi-official FARS news agency said.

At least four pro-reform publications have been banned and many journalists detained following street protests that broke out after the June re-election of hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Dozens of moderate journalists are still in jail.

Bahar was banned for “printing untrue articles, casting doubts on fundamental issues like the election, questioning the principals of the Islamic Republic system, defaming the country’s official institutions”, FARS reported.

Since 2000, the supervisory board and Iranian courts have closed some 100 publications, condemning many as “pawns of the West” and accusing them of trying to undermine Iran’s system of clerical rule.

One week ago, another reformist daily which had been banned for three years reappeared. Sharq was closed in 2007 for publishing an interview with a “counter-revolutionary” poet abroad.

Reporting by Ramin Mostafavi; Editing by Jon Hemming

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