05/17/2019, 09.37
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Tehran suspends reformist magazine for evoking a war with the United States

A  "Seda" reporter detained and interrogated Reformist MP: "Great Concern", this is the "wrong way to overcome difficult times". On the home front, the authority of President Rouhani weakens undermined by fundamentalist wing and the judiciary.


Tehran (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The special section dedicated to the media and culture of the Court of Tehran ordered the suspension of the reformist weekly "Seda" [The Voice, in Persian] and ordered the arrest of a journalist. To determine the provision, dating back to 11 May, the publication of an article that evoked the possibility of a war with the United States.

A possible conflict between the Islamic Republic and the Americans is one of the major stories in recents weeks, as well as an element of great fear among international diplomacies. "The suspension of  Seda magazine - stressed Fatemeh Saeidi, reformist member of Parliament - and the arrest of one of his reporters are a source of serious concern." This is the "wrong way", adds the politician, "to overcome these difficult moments".

Official ministry sources did not want to explain the reasons behind the publication suspension, which had already hit the magazine in the past. However, it comes the day after the publication of an article entitled "Crossroads between war and peace", accompanied by a cover photo of a US warship.

In response to the piece, the official state media - which have close ties with the military and security departments - condemned the article, for having "suggested" the path of negotiations and end the escalation of tension to Washington and Tehran. On May 12, the day after the magazine was closed, security forces raided the home of journalist Ali Malihi and arrested him for questioning, and then released him a few hours later.

In 2010, Malihi was sentenced to four years in prison for participating in the 2009 protests, following the re-election of conservative leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He was released in August 2011, in the context of a general amnesty approved by the supreme leader.

Meanwhile, increasing US pressure on Iran is undermining moderate president Hassan Rouhani and his government, the architect of the nuclear agreement and economic growth, favoring the rise of the fundamentalist wing that is fighting for a confrontation with the United States.

Analysts and experts say that Rouhani's authority is fading: his brother, a key adviser to the 2015 nuclear agreement, was sentenced to prison with the generic accusation of corruption. One of his most bitter rivals was elected to head the judiciary and the executive is targeted by critics for having been overly docile to the sanctions imposed by US president Donald Trump.

In these weeks Rouhani, re-launching the line of dialogue on the domestic front as well as internationally, urging the opposing factions to work together for the good of the country. He also stressed the "limited powers" available, in a nation where the executive elected by the people must in any case be subject to the dictates imposed by the religious leadership, the judiciary and the security forces.

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