Bahar

Bahar (Spring) was a reformist daily newspaper, published under the management of Saeed Pourazizi—director general of the Presidential Media Office during Khatami’s presidency. Bahar was shut down by the judiciary in 2000 and was permitted to reopen after ten years, in January 2010.

     The first ban came two days after Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei intervened and blocked legislation that aimed to restore press freedoms. Khamenei denounced proposed revisions to Iran’s press law as a threat to national security and religion. Bahar published an interview with parliament member and leader of the Press Revision bill Ahmad Pournejati, who said the reformists would find a way to pursue the bill. Saeed Pourazizi, the paper’s director, was charged with “printing a fake interview at a sensitive time.” The allegation of a “fake interview” was first published in the conservative rival newspaper Keyhan.

     Pournejati resigned as chairman of Parliament's Commission for Culture on August 9th, 2000 two hours before Bahar was officially shut down. He told the parliament, ''The reason behind the commission's attempt was nothing except fulfilling its lawful and legitimate duty toward honorable people who are the major owners of this system.'' After only 76 editions, the paper was once again ordered to shut down on April 19th, 2010. Mohammad Ali Ramin, head of the Press Supervisory Board, pointed to “Publishing untruths, creating doubt surrounding critical affairs such as the elections, questioning principles of the Islamic Republic, and the defamation of public institutions and organizations” as the reason behind the ban.

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