Last updated: 20 November, 2011

Iran bans reformist paper for two months

Iranian authorities have imposed a two-month ban on a reformist newspaper, Etemad, for printing what the country’s press watchdog said was “lies and insults” to officials, media reported Sunday.

The daily’s managing editor, Elias Hazrati, linked the suspension to a recent interview with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s press advisor, Ali Akbar Javanfekr, critical of hardliners opposed to Ahmadinejad.

“We were informed that the ban was for publishing an interview with Javanfekr…. We had edited parts of the interview but it must have still not been deemed acceptable,” Hazrati was quoted as saying by the Mehr news agency.

He told the IRNA news agency the press watchdog informed him “the ban was for printing lies and insults to government officials.”

Etemad — Iran’s leading reformist title — had already been subjected to a 15-month suspension that ended in June this year.

The new suspension was ordered months ahead of March 2012 parliamentary elections.