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Director of Iranian paper arrested

TEHRAN, June 16 (AFP) - The director of a weekly publication close to reformist circles in Iran was arrested Wednesday on the orders of the conservative revolutionary tribunal in Tehran, the magazine said.

Hossein Kashani, director of Hoveyat-e-Khish, was taken in for questioning for having published information contrary to "public order and the public interest," officials said.

He was detained after interrogation by the revolutionary court, the paper reported.

His detention follows a culture ministry announcement last week that it intended to charge the publication over a series of "deceitful and offensive" articles.

Hoveyat-e-Khish's editor-in-chief, Heshmatollah Tabarzadi, a radical activist who is now close to reformist President Mohammad Khatami, has also been summoned to appear before the revolutionary tribunal Thursday.

Hoveyat-e-Khish, which has so far only published three issues, is particularly hostile to hardliners.

Tabarzadi formerly directed another paper, Peyam-e-Daneshju, which was banned three years ago after complaints from a number of government officials.

Iran's moderate press, which started to enjoy considerable freedom with Khatami's election two years ago, has been coming under increasing pressure recently from conservatives.


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