AFP: A top adviser to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Monday defended a ban on the main reformist party’s newspaper, alleging some media sought to overthrow the government. TEHRAN, July 9, 2007 (AFP) – A top adviser to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Monday defended a ban on the main reformist party’s newspaper, alleging some media sought to overthrow the government.
“Why should we guarantee the free flow of information, so that some exploit this atmosphere for their own goals? No, we will not guarantee this for anyone,” Ali Akbar Javanfekr was quoted as saying in Shargh newspaper.
Ahmadinejad’s press adviser had been asked about Iran’s decision last week to definitively ban the daily Mosharekat, an organ of the reformist Participation Front party.
Mosharekat’s licence had been suspended during a widespread judiciary crackdown on the press in 2000. It was published by Mohammad Reza Khatami, the brother of former president Mohammad Khatami.
Javanfekr accused opposition publications of seeking to topple the government a day after Iranian Culture Minister Mohammad Hossein Saffar Harandi warned against a “creeping coup in the press.”
“When the media serve a political group that opposes the government they become an instrument of sabotage and weakening of the government and to overthrow it with a soft war,” he told Shargh, a moderate daily which itself was subject to a six-month ban ending in March last year.
On Tuesday, Iran banned the reformist daily Ham Mihan less than two months after it returned to news stands following a seven-year ban, while the labour news agency, ILNA, stopped its activities when its director resigned.