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Iran: Court Bans Two More Pro-Reform Newspapers

Tehran, 8 August 2002 (RFE/RL) -- An Iranian court has ordered the closure of two new pro-reform newspapers that supported President Mohammad Khatami. The official IRNA news agency reported that the "Aineh-yi Jonub" newspaper, which was launched last week, cannot be published because its publisher has been sentenced to jail. The publisher, reformist parliamentarian Mohammad Dadfar, had been sentenced to seven months in prison last year on charges of spreading lies against the Islamic Republic.

The same court today banned another pro-reform daily because its name is similar to that of a paper banned last month. The court said the "Ruz-i No" daily can not be published until the "Noruz" daily's ban is lifted.

The "Aineh-yi Jonub" newspaper is the latest of many publications banned in a crackdown led by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei against the pro-reform press.