New conservative daily hits the stands in Iran
TEHRAN, April 11 (AFP) - A new conservative daily hit the newsstands
in the Iranian holy city of Qom Sunday, pledging to keep to the values
of the Islamic revolution.
Entekhab (Choice), founded by a Islamic propaganda organization and
run by conservative MP Taha Hashemi, said it would work "within the
strict framework of the Islamic Republic's values and laws, and remain
loyal to the Revolution."
Under the more open regime of President Mohammad Khatami, elected in
1997, the number of licenses granted for the publication of political,
cultural, economic and scientific papers has doubled.
However, the country's moderate and liberal press has come under mounting
pressure from conservative forces following February municipal elections
that saw a sweeping victory for the reformist camp.
The moderate Zan paper of Faezeh Hashemi, daughter of former president
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, was suspended by a revolutionary court in Tehran
Tuesday for publishing a new-year message from ex-empress Farah, the wife
of the ousted shah.
The paper is also under fire for running a cartoon satirizing the fact
that under the system of blood money payments operating under Islamic law,
financial penalties are greater for causing the death of a man than that
of a woman.
The moderate Culture Minister, Ataollah Mohajerani, has also come under
attack in parliament, and faces possible impeachment.
On Friday, two senior conservative officials warned the press against
"any violation of sacred Islamic values."