Iran's leading reformist daily newspaper was ordered to shut down again on Monday, less than three months after it was allowed to resume publication, the newspaper's editor said.
While the government said the daily Shargh, or East, was closed down for interviewing an opposition poet that disputed Islamic views on relationships between sexes, the paper's editor said this was an excuse to silence one of few remaining reformist voices in Iran.
"An interview with an anti-revolutionary figure, who is famous for promoting anti-morality materials, is the main reason behind the closure of the paper," said Ali Reza Malekian, a Culture Ministry official, according to the official IRNA news agency.
But Ahmad Gholami, the editor of Shargh, said this was a pretext to silence the most vocal reformist paper in Iran. "Publication of an interview is not a plausible justification for banning a newspaper," Gholami said.