AFP: Iran's leading moderate daily Shargh hit the news stands again on Sunday nearly three years after authorities banned it for publishing an interview with a poet accused of being a lesbian. TEHRAN (AFP) — Iran's leading moderate daily Shargh hit the news stands again on Sunday nearly three years after authorities banned it for publishing an interview with a poet accused of being a lesbian.
The Islamic republic ordered the newspaper's closure in August 2007 over the full-page interview with Saghi Ghahreman, an expatriate Iranian poet living in Canada whom authorities described as "counter-revolutionary."
Shargh (East) is the second newspaper to resume operations after authorities allowed Bahar (Spring), a reformist daily, to begin publishing again in February.
In Sunday's edition, Shargh, a former favourite among Iranian liberals, carried a front-page story on the death in a plane crash of Polish President Lech Kaczynski.
"Tupolev also killed Polish president," said the headline in reference to the large number of Iranian air crashes in recent years involving the Soviet-made aircraft.
Iran's press watchdog has in the past few months banned several publications, mostly reformist journals, for breaching its strict regulations.
Authorities have come down hard on the media and arrested scores of journalists since anti-government protests erupted after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's disputed re-election in June 2009.
His victory bitterly divided Iran's political elite amid persistent allegations the election was massively rigged in his favour.
Since Ahmadinejad's first term, authorities have generally cracked down on the media, mostly from the reformist camp, but some conservative publications have also faced closures.