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New pro-reform daily begins publication in Iran

TEHRAN, June 11 (AFP) - A new pro-reform newspaper run by the brother of Iran's supreme spiritual guide Ali Khameini hit Tehran newsstands Sunday, more than a month after most reformist publications were shut down by the government.

"Our newspaper wants to advance the reform movement" led by President Mohammed Khatami, said Hayat-e-No, or New Life. The newspaper also said it supported "democracy in Iran in the shape of the constitution and a society of numerous voices."

Hadi Khameini, a deputy from Tehran, was a member of the radical left that was in power until 1992. He ran the newspaper Jahan-e-Eslam (World of Islam), which closed last year amid technical and financial problems.

His brother, Iran's supreme leader, is officially neutral but is considered closer to the conservatives.

Hayat-e-No, which had launched a major advertising campaign to promote itself, devoted a full page in its first issue to Iranian culture and film, including a smiling photograph of Samira Makhalbaf, the 20-year-old director who won a Cannes jury prize this year for her film "Blackboards."

The new newspaper also announced that Iran's culture ministry has allowed Akbar Golpaygani, a popular singer under the shah, to return to Iran.

The Iranian judiciary, which is dominated by conservatives, suspended 18 publications, 17 of them close to the reformists, in late April.


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