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Iranian President's Press Adviser Jailed


Ali Akbar Javanfekr

Ali Akbar Javanfekr

The chief of Iran's official IRNA news agency, who is also press adviser to the president, has been sentenced by a Tehran court to one year in prison on charges of "publishing materials contrary to Islamic norms."

IRNA said Ali Akbar Javanfekr has also been banned from journalism activities for three years.

He had written in an official publication that the practice of women wearing the head-to-toe black covering known as a chador was not orginally an Iranian practice but was imported.

Javanfekr is the latest of dozens of President Mahmud Ahmadinejad's allies to be targeted by hard-liners in what observers say appears to be an internal struggle between Ahmadinejad, himself a conservative, and the hard-liners.

Also on November 20, the pro-reform "Etemaad" daily was banned by authorities for two months for what they said was distribution of lies and insults.

"Etemaad" had published an interview with Javanfekr in which he criticized opponents of Ahmadinejad for the arrest of the president's allies.

compiled from agency reports
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