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Tuesday, 8 August, 2000, 19:47 GMT 20:47 UK
Iranian press back Ayatollah's intervention
Several Iranian newspapers have backed supreme leader Ali Khamenei's right to order parliament to drop the debate on press reforms, which generated uproar among MPs at the weekend.

Iran Daily, published by the Iranian news agency, thanked MPs for what it described as their "extremely noteworthy... sensitivity towards the press corps".

Challenging the leader's guidelines and wishes is irrational

Iran Daily

"Let us beware that those who have distanced themselves from the general consensus and the enemies of Iran wish to fan the flames of disputes and create an unsafe and contaminated climate," the paper said.

It warned that Mr Khamenei's word brooked no dissent. "Challenging the leader's guidelines and wishes is as irrational as using his prudent and wise remarks for personal gains and considerations".

"The only way out is to be patient, logical and law-abiding in all spheres. It is a national and Islamic obligation," Iran Daily concluded.

The editor-in-chief of the centrist daily Entekhab, Mehdi Faqihi, also acknowledged that "the Leader's statements are clearly drawn from the wording of the constitution; he has acted legally."

Mr Faqihi said many MPs were more interested in promoting their own political parties than supporting press freedom.

Kick them out

One conservative paper had no doubts over who was to blame for the fracas in parliament.

Jomhuri-ye Eslami argued that Ayatollah Khamenei had the last word, and those who disagreed had no place in parliament.

There is no legal justification for their presence in parliament

Jomhuri-ye Eslami

The government, parliament and the judiciary all came under the control of the "absolute guardianship of the supreme jurisconsult and the imamate of the nation (Khamenei)".

"If any of them does anything contrary to the views of the supreme jurisconsult, they will lose their legal legitimacy."

MPs were required to adhere to this system, Jomhuri-ye Eslami said. "Those who have proved they are not committed to the constitution lack legal legitimacy and there is no legal justification for their presence in parliament."

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.

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24 Apr 00 | Middle East
Iran's liberal press muzzled
16 May 00 | Middle East
Another Iranian paper closed
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