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    Iran suspends pro-Khatami weekly newspaper

    TEHRAN, Oct 1 (AFP) - Iranian authorities have temporarily closed an Islamic leftist newspaper, accusing it of publishing lies and acting against national security, another newspaper reported Thursday.

    Navid-e-Esfahan, a weekly newspaper published in the central city of Esfahan, was accused of "acting against the country's security, publishing lies and disturbing public opinion as well as promoting opposition groups," Salam newspaper reported.

    The decision was made by a special court for the clergy because the paper was run by a cleric, Fazlollah Salavati, who was also summoned to the court.

    The court has forwarded the case to another court specializing on press affairs for further examination.

    The closure of the weekly came amid a crackdown on publications supportive of the moderate President Mohammad Khatami, which have been accused of being un-Islamic and pro-Western.

    A Tehran court on Monday banned a monthly magazine for allegedly insulting the late founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

    The editor-in-chief of Jameh Salem (Healthy Society), Siavosh Gouran, was sentenced to a one-year jail term and fined three million rials (1,000 dollars).

    However, the jail term was suspended for five years after Gouran said the article was published without his knowledge due to his "poor eyesight."

    In mid-September, the daily newspaper Toos, which had gained popularity among the young and intellectuals, was shut down by the security forces and its editorial staff arrested.

    IRNA reported last week that Toos was shut down because of an interview with former French president Valery Giscard d'Estaing in which he claimed Khomeini had sought and been granted political asylum when he went to France before the Islamic Revolution in 1978.


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