Iran General NewsIran lifts ban on newspaper after insulting cartoon

Iran lifts ban on newspaper after insulting cartoon

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Reuters: Iran’s judiciary has lifted a ban on a state-run newspaper, which sparked violent protests last month by publishing a cartoon considered insulting by Iran’s Azeri minority, a judiciary official said on Wednesday. TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iran’s judiciary has lifted a ban on a state-run newspaper, which sparked violent protests last month by publishing a cartoon considered insulting by Iran’s Azeri minority, a judiciary official said on Wednesday.

“The ban has been officially lifted and (the newspaper) ‘Iran’ can be published on Thursday,” a justice ministry official, who asked not to be named, told Reuters.

Iran was suspended on May 23 after it published a cartoon that sparked violent protests in the northwestern province of Azerbaijan.

The cartoonist Mana Neyestani awaits trial in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison along with another Iran newspaper journalist.

“Their cases … will not be affected by the cancellation of the newspaper’s ban,” the judiciary official said.

The cartoon showed a boy repeating the Persian word for cockroach in different ways while the uncomprehending bug says “What?” in Azeri.

The Azeris of northwestern Iran speak a language related to Turkish. Although Azeris have many luminaries among Iran’s commercial elite, Iran’s majority Persians often mock them in their jokes.

Azeris account for about 25 percent of the overall population of the Islamic Republic.

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