Etemaad

Launched in 2002, Etemaad (Trust) is one of the few daily reformist newspapers not permanently shut down by conservatives. The director of the paper is Elias Hazrati, a member of Iran’s National Trust Party and a former commander during the Iran-Iraq war; the editor in chief is Behrooz Behzadi. The paper is affiliated with the National Trust Party, a reformist political party established in 2005 by presidential candidate Mehdi Karroubi. As such, the newspaper backed him as presidential candidate in both the 2005 and the 2009 presidential elections.
      Despite eight years of publication and a relatively high circulation of over 100,000, Etemaad was banned temporarily in 2010 by the Press Supervisory Board (a media watchdog council led by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance). The ban came after Etemaad published two articles surrounding the screening of a film about police attacks on Tehran University three days after the contested 2009 presidential elections, the film had been aired on BBC Persian. The Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA) reported that the board closed Etemaad for going “beyond the limits of the press” Behrooz Behzadi (Etemaad’s editor-in-chief), however, told the Guardian “The Press Supervisory Board shut down our paper without even giving us a specific reason. It's an absolutely arbitrary decision.” The Press Supervisory Board also closed down Iran-Dokht (Daughter of Iran) magazine, belonging to Mehdi Karoubi’s wife, during the same timeframe. Etemaad was again banned for two months in November of 2011 for “Disseminating lies and insults to officials in the establishment.” The charge came after Etemaad published an article by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s aide, media adviser Ali Akbar Javanfekr, attacking the president’s rival conservatives. Although the newspaper was permitted to resume publishing, the online edition of the newspaper is filtered and inaccessible to readers in Iran, which many speculate is due to the fact that controlling material published online is much more difficult than what is published in print.

 

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