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NGOs Troubled By Iran's Crackdown On International Organizations, Journalists

Two men hide from riot policemen behind a trash bin during clashes in Tehran on December 27.
Nongovernmental groups targeted on a blacklist announced recently by Iranian authorities who cited "seditious" activities have protested Tehran's most recent clampdown.

The New York-based democracy-building group Open Society Institute has said in a statement that it is "deeply troubled" by Iran's decision to ban cooperation with dozens of international organizations.

Iran's Intelligence Ministry on January 4 accused some 60 foreign organizations and media outlets -- including the Open Society Institute and RFE/RL's Radio Farda -- of being involved in a "soft war" in Iran and banned citizens from cooperating with them.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has also said that Iran "has recovered its status as the world's biggest prison state for the media."

RSF says there are 42 journalists currently detained in the country, where authorities have carried out mass arrests and imposed harsh curbs on the media and critics since a fiercely disputed presidential election in June.

compiled from agency reports