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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 August 2005, 13:56 GMT 14:56 UK
The press in Iran
Iran press graphic - Tehran's Azadi Square

Iran's newspapers are currently going through some of their hardest times, and the future is uncertain following the election of the conservative Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the country's president in June.

Ever since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, the press has been beset by a range of problems, both financial and political.

Dozens of reformist papers have opened, only to be shut down again - in some cases after only a few editions.

Reformist journalists have also been jailed, as the conservative judiciary in the country tries to tighten its grip on what it sees as a liberal media.

Newspapers in Iran now face a number of major challenges. They are under pressure from their readers to be more open, while the government insists that they should not step out of line.

Readership figures are in decline and Iran's advertising market is limited. There is also a shortage of imported and domestically produced paper.

The internet is becoming a player in the Iranian media scene. Nearly seven million Iranians are now estimated to be online, and the internet is developing into a serious alternative source of news.

Official statistics from Tehran's Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance show that around 30 daily papers are currently published.

Sports papers enjoy the widest circulations. Some two million copies are read every morning. Their circulation often doubles after a major soccer match.

Main papers

The main conservative dailies include:


Founded in 1941, its managing editor is appointed by Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamene'i. Circulation: 350,000


Founded in 1985, reflects the views of the conservative Islamic Coalition Party. Circulation: 100,000

Jomhuri-ye Eslami

Proprietor is Ayatollah Ali Khamene'i, Iran's supreme leader. First newspaper to be launched by Iran's political elite following the 1979 revolution. Circulation: n/a.

Siyasat-e Ruz

Reflects the views of the younger generation of Iranian conservatives. Circulation: n/a.

Jaam-e Jam

Newspaper of Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting Organisation. Circulation: 460,000

Tehran Times

Affiliated to Islamic Propagation Organization. Founded in 1979, it was the first Iranian English-language daily. Its editorials are conservative, but otherwise it covers straight news stories. Circulation: 15,000

The main reformist dailies include:


Moderate reformist daily run by the leader of Isfahanis faction of Executives of Construction Party Mohammad Atrianfar. Circulation: n/a.

Aftab-e Yazd

Founded in 2000. Affiliated with former President Khatami's aides within the reformist camp, supported by the reformist Militant Clerics Society. Circulation: 100,000


Official newspaper of the Islamic Republic News Agency, IRNA. Circulation: n/a


Moderate reformist daily, published by former Iran editors. Supervised by a leading member of the Executives of Construction Party. Circulation: n/a.

Farhang-e Ashti

Independent reformist daily. Circulation: n/a.


Official newspaper of Islamic Iran Solidarity Party. Circulation: n/a.

Mardom Salari

Official newspaper of Mardom Salari Party. Circulation: n/a.

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.


Country profile: Iran
18 Jan 05 |  Country profiles
Timeline: Iran
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