Iran daily resumes publication

A state-owned Iranian newspaper has returned to the news stands more than five months after it was banned for insulting Iran's Azeri minority.

    Iranian newspapers have been banned for opposing state views

    The culture ministry's press supervisory board suspended the daily called Iran on May 23 after publishing a cartoon that offended Azeris and led to days of unrest in northwestern provinces, where Azeris make up a majority of the population.

    The daily's main headline on Satuday read:"The people of Iran, hello!" Another headline read: "Iran newspaper begins publication after a five-month-long stop."

    The daily carried an editorial by Mohammad Hossein Saffar-Harandi, the minister of culture, that said the suspension of "Iran" has been a result of careless journalism.
       
    "Now Iran newspaper has returned with a mouthful of apologies and a heart full of compassion for all Iranians of all ethnicities," the editorial read.
       
    The cartoon that caused the newspaper's suspension showed a boy repeating the Persian word for cockroach in different ways while the uncomprehending bug says "What?" in Azeri.
     
    The Azeris, who make up 25 per cent of the population, speak a language related to Turkish. Many Azeris are among Iran's business elite but majority Persians often mock them in jokes.
      
    A court had ended the newspaper ban in September; but it did not make clear when it was supposed to resume publication.
       
    Gholamhossein Eslamifard, the newspaper's managing director,  was acquitted of insulting Iran's Azeri minority in August.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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