Monday, May 14, 2007

Iran lifts 9-month ban on moderate newspaper

By Agence France Presse (AFP)
Tuesday, May 15, 2007

TEHRAN: Shargh (East), the flagship newspaper of Iran's moderates, returned to newsstands Monday after a nine-month ban to join a diverse range of other moderate titles. The return of Shargh, a newspaper with a 100,000 daily circulation that was known for its criticism of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's government, came a day after the like-minded Ham Mihan republished after a seven-year ban. The paper has held on to the same editorial team from before the ban and is keeping the same moderate line, although its publisher vowed to work within the framework of the country's laws. "Since Shargh wants to work within the framework of the ... Iran's media policies, we will adhere to respecting people's privacy," wrote Mehdi Rahmanian in an editorial. After a series of warnings, the paper was shut down last year for printing a cartoon depicting a donkey, its head surrounded by an aura, facing a knight on a chess board. The cartoon was deemed insulting to the president who said he had felt surrounded by an aura of light during his speech to the UN General Assembly in 2005. - AFP.

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