The English online newspaper from Iran has been closed down. Earlier editions of Iran Daily are still available but the above image is all that is left of the “reformist newspaper”. This action was taken after publishing an article that attacked Ahmadinejad’s rival conservatives. In Iran, Ahmadinejad is viewed as a moderate and his support by the ruling theocracy is waning.
Based on media reports in our country, this might be seen as good news. However, the reality is that like Obama, Ahmadinejad is only a front man for the real power which in Iran’s case are the Islamist ayatollahs.
Iranian authorities shut down a reformist newspaper on Sunday after it published a scathing attack by an aide to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on the president’s rival conservatives, the latest sign of a split in the highest echelons of the Islamic Republic.
The aide, media adviser Ali Akbar Javanfekr, was also sentenced to a year in jail and banned from journalism over a separate publication which was deemed to have offended public decency, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.
Both incidents spotlighted a feud between Ahmadinejad’s camp and others in the conservative establishment that runs the world’s fifth biggest oil exporter and faces increasing international pressure over its nuclear activities.
Tehran’s prosecutor’s office ordered the daily Etemad to close for two months for “disseminating lies and insults to officials in the establishment,” according to Fars.
In the interview in Saturday’s edition, Javanfekr hit back at critics who accuse Ahmadinejad of being in the thrall of a “deviant” circle seeking to undermine the Islamic clergy, saying they had “poisoned” politics and implying many were corrupt.
“What have we ‘deviated’ from? Yes, we have deviated from those friends, from their beliefs, behavior and interpretations,” Javanfekr, who also heads the official Iranian news agency IRNA, told Saturday’s Etemad.
“If they meant the deviant current is a deviation from their beliefs, we confirm it.”
The counter-attack, published verbatim over three pages, signaled the determination of Ahmadinejad’s camp to fight back as Iran gears up for parliamentary elections in March.