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Iran Closes Down Hardline Newspaper After Anti Nuclear Deal Coverage

Categories: Iran, Middle East & North Africa, Advocacy, Censorship, Free Expression, Media
Iranian media run the words "shut down" across a cover page of 9 Dey newspaper. Image publish for reuse on banifilm.ir.

Iranian media run the words “shut down” across a cover page of 9 Dey newspaper. Image publish for reuse on banifilm.ir [1].

Iran's Press Supervisory have closed down 9 Dey [2], a hardline newspaper that has published dissenting views to the nuclear deal signed between Iran and the P5+1 countries, signed in Vienna on July 13.

The closure comes some weeks after the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance issued Iranian journalists with censorship guidelines on how to cover the deal. In a report for IranWire, Mansoureh Farahani described [5] the directive as such:

In the directive, journalists are forbidden from publishing any articles that suggest rifts among “high-ranking authorities in Iran” — referring to President Rouhani’s administration and the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and his closest allies. In addition, journalists have been told to not report on anything that “indoctrinates” the public into believing that the nuclear deal goes “against the nation, Islam, or revolutionary values and ideals;” they have also been instructed not to report anything that might “polarize society”.

The directive suggested that publications that defied the orders could face up to two months of closure. Reports suggest that other hardline newspapers such as Kayhan have also been given warnings.

Iran's Press Supervisory board is composed of seven members, including the Iranian judiciary, the parliament, the Supreme Cultural Revolution Council, a seminary in Qom and the Ministries of Culture and Science. The board had previously banned [9] 9 Dey in April 2014 for publishing what was deemed ‘slanderous’ articles against the president and the nuclear negotiations.

9 Dey is a radical right-wing publications in Iran, owned by Hamid Rasaei, a principalist cleric and member of parliament from Tehran.

9 Dey is the Persian date for December 30th, an anniversary [10]that marks when pro-government supporters marched on the streets in 2009 in opposition to Green Movement protesters.