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Iran Opens Office For Media Violations Ahead Of Opposition Protest

Iran's official news agency IRNA has reported that the government has established a special prosecutor's office for those in the media and cultural fields found violating the country's strict Islamic codes of behavior.

The announcement comes as the authorities ratchet up security ahead of a planned February 14 protest announced by the opposition Green Movement in solidarity with the antigovernment protests in Egypt and Tunisia.

The Iranian government has been vocal in its support of the protesters in Egypt and Tunisia, but did not approve the opposition's request to hold the rally.

Opposition websites today cited opposition leaders calling on Iranians to attend the protest, even without government permission.

Iran has not allowed the opposition to hold a protest since mass antigovernment demonstrations swept the country after the disputed election of President Mahmud Ahmadinejad in June 2009.

A top White House official on February 12 criticized Iran for not allowing the opposition to hold the event.

compiled from agency reports