The editor of a reformist daily in Iran has blamed its closure on December 31 on authorities' reaction to the paper's criticism of Hamas's role in the current Israeli air strikes in Gaza, AP reported.
Mehran Karami said the order to shut down "Kargozaran" followed its publication of a reformist student group's statement saying Hamas was at fault in sparking the Israeli assault, which has left more than 300 people in Gaza dead.
The statement condemned the Israeli actions, he said, but labeled Hamas a "terrorist" organization that hid in schools and thus incurred civilian casualties.
Reuters noted the paper's perceived cozy relationship with former President Ali-Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani and quoted the official IRNA news agency as saying officials shuttered the paper for "publishing an article authorities said was sympathetic to Israel."
Iran is a major backer of Hamas, and Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has suggested Israel should be "wiped off the map."