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Last Updated: Monday, 2 January 2006, 19:08 GMT
Iran bans newspaper over photos
Men reading newspapers
A new publication aimed at women has also reportedly been banned
The Iranian government has ordered the closure of a daily newspaper for the first time since hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took office.

The paper's editor, Iraj Jamshidi, told the BBC the Asia was banned because it had published photos deemed to have contravened Islamic values.

More than 100 publications have been closed in the past five years, although many have since reopened.

Asia was banned in 2003 after printing the picture of a rebel leader.

The latest closure was ordered by the culture ministry rather than the judiciary, which has usually been responsible for such moves in the past.

"The ban by the board indicates a new round of pressure on the press," reformist journalist Isa Saharkhiz told Reuters news agency.

Reuters reports that a planned publication aimed at women, Nour-e Banovan, was also banned.



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