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Iran shuts down reformist outlet Entekhab as crackdown intensifies 

Iran's already stifling media environment and the crackdown on outspoken journalists have only stiffened under hard-line President Ebrahim Raisi.
A picture shows daily newspapers on sale at a kiosk in the capital Tehran, on Sept. 18, 2021.

Iranian authorities closed down the pro-reform news agency Entekhab late Monday after it published a video clip criticizing the foreign policy agenda of hard-line President Ebrahim Raisi.   

The decision was announced by the state regulatory body, known as the Press Supervisory Board, after it found the news agency to be "acting against Iran's national interests and the Islamic Republic's fundamental foreign policies," according to a report by the government-funded Tasnim news agency.

The ban was specifically prompted by a five-minute clip posted on Entekhab's various digital platforms. The report dug into Raisi's foreign policy, describing it as a failure. Titled "The Iranian brand put up for sale," it argued that the overall trajectory of Raisi's foreign policy is placing Iran in a "weaker" position, particularly with its "look to the East" approach, and that the reliance on Russia and China "will leave such damage upon Iran that cannot be repaired for years to come."  

The Raisi administration has been pressing a new foreign policy agenda in which Iran seeks new alliances with states that share its anti-Western approach. Yet the tendency toward China and Russia, from the viewpoint of domestic critics, has gone too far, turning the country into a client state. 

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