Page last updated at 13:33 GMT, Monday, 2 June 2008 14:33 UK

Iran news agency hit by closure

Head of the Iranian central bank Tahmasb Mazaheri
Mazaheri has been at loggerheads with the Iranian president over inflation

The Iranian authorities have ordered the temporary closure of the semi-official Fars news agency, the Iranian state news agency, Irna, says.

Fars is accused of spreading lies and disturbing public opinion for reporting that the head of the Iranian central bank had been replaced.

Its website later carried an official denial of that report.

Officials said Fars was to be closed for three days, which will cover a public holiday period.

The head of the central bank, Tahmasb Mazaheri, is reported to have been resisting pressure from Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to reduce interest rates to below the level of inflation.

There has been speculation in the Iranian media about Mr Mazaheri's imminent dismissal from his job.

Fars is normally considered supportive of the Mr Ahmadinejad.

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