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Does Rouhani administration target critical media?

The Iranian government's closing of a hard-line weekly has been welcomed by some Reformists as justified in the interest of a greater media balance.
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani speaks during an event to mark Nawroz, the Persian New Year, in Kabul March 27, 2014. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani (AFGHANISTAN - Tags: ANNIVERSARY POLITICS) - RTR3ITE2

TEHRAN, Iran — According to Ali Jannati, Iran’s minister of culture and Islamic guidance, the administration of President Hassan Rouhani was not responsible for the closing of one of the most radical right-wing publications in Iran. However, there are indications that the Rouhani administration has gone on the offensive against Principlist media, a move welcome by some Reformists, a group typically on the receiving end of newspaper closures and censorship.

"The administration is not responsible for banning, written warnings or any other action regarding the media and publications," Jannati told reporters during the first Cabinet meeting of the year at the end of March. "The Press Supervisory Board has seven members, representing the Iranian judiciary, parliament, the Supreme Cultural Revolution Council and the seminary in Qom. Only two of [bodies with representation in] the organization, the Ministries of Culture and Science, are also part of the administration. Its decisions are based on a majority vote.”

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