NewsSpecial WireIran’s news agency chief resigns after dispute with minister

Iran’s news agency chief resigns after dispute with minister

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Iran Focus: Tehran, Iran, Sep. 27 – The head of Iran’s official news agency IRNA, Ahmad Khadem-Almelleh, has resigned from his post over a dispute with the country’s Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Mohammad-Hossein Saffar-Harandi. Iran Focus

Tehran, Iran, Sep. 27 – The head of Iran’s official news agency IRNA, Ahmad Khadem-Almelleh, has resigned from his post over a dispute with the country’s Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Mohammad-Hossein Saffar-Harandi.

Khadem-Almelleh said in a statement that he had sent his letter of resignation to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad because he could not carry on working “under the current conditions”.

He said that he had differences with Saffar-Harandi over how the official daily “Iran” should be run.

IRNA holds the publishing licence for the official daily.

“This is normal in the administration of the media. You usually have differences of opinion”, Khadem-Almelleh said.

A ban on the daily Iran, which had been in place for the past four months, was lifted on Tuesday.

The paper was suspended from printing after widespread anti-government demonstrations erupted in the northwest of the country in May against its publication of an insulting cartoon mocking ethnic Azeris.

Saffar-Harandi had appointed Khadem-Almelleh as head of the official news agency following Ahmadinejad’s election victory in June 2005.

Khadem-Almelleh was previously IRNA’s bureau chief at the United Nations in New York.

The state-run news agency Fars reported that Khadem-Almelleh was replaced as IRNA chief by Jalal Sayazi, the former head of the hard-line daily Quds.

In August 2005, IRNA’s then-managing director Abdollah Nasseri stepped down from his position days after he was summoned to court for questioning after Ahmadinejad’s campaign team filed a complaint against the agency for biased reporting against the conservative camp during the June election campaign.

He was replaced by Gholam-Hossein Eslamifar, the agency’s deputy for news affairs.

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