19 July 2004 -- Around 150 Iranian journalists and some Iranian politicians today complained about a judiciary decision to close two pro-reformist newspapers.
The journalists wrote an open letter carried in the "Shargh" newspaper, calling on the ministries of labor and culture to act in favor of the two closed newspapers.
Iranian Culture Minister Ahmad Masjed-Jamei today said the closures were "regrettable." Government spokesman Abdollah Ramazanzadeh said the cabinet "strongly rejects" the closures.
The hard-line judiciary ordered the closures on several charges, including propaganda against the state and publishing lies. In recent years, Iran's judiciary has shut down at least 100 publications.