Iranian judiciary chief calls for stricter controls
on the press
TEHRAN, May 7 (AFP) - Iran's judiciary chief Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi
called Friday for stricter controls on the press and literary works in
the Islamic republic, saying they must abide by "moral values."
"The media must provide correct information and must not lie, especially
dailies, because people are exposed to them everyday. But above all, they
must be strictly controlled," Yazdi, also a senior conservative cleric,
said at weekly prayers in Tehran.
"The system's duty is to raise people's awareness on Islamic teachings,
we must not allow anyone to bring down that level," he said.
The conservative cleric also criticized certain literary works.
"Novels which teach the game of love to young people ... are misleading.
The young Iranian who does not have the material means to get married and
cannot ask his parent's for help will be misled by these novels."
Yazdi's comments come less than a week after moderate Culture Minister
Ataollah Mohajerani fought off a parliamentary impeachment motion charging
him with "laxity" in his handling of the press and the defence
of Islamic values.
Mohajerani, a close ally of President Mohammad Khatami, has been the
driving force behind moves to easing restrictions on the press and cultural
The number of newspapers and magazines permitted to publish in Iran
has soared since Khatami came to power in 1997.