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Khatami Orders Closure of Daily Arya

April 8, 2000

What is the secret behind the ban on Arya?

Sobh publication quoted a reliable source that the ban was imposed on the express orders of the President and summarily executed by the minister of guidance. The ban follows the publication of an interview with the editor-in-chief of Iran-e Farda and printed in its March 4, 2000 issue.

The important excerpts of the article run as follows: "In my view, the clue to the weird murders that we are witnessing lies in the past, particularly in relation to the numberless hangings of political prisoners in the summer of 1988. All those implicated in the verdicts should be grounded and confined to quarters.

The Sobh article refers to the ruling of Imam Khomeini in the wake of the Mersad Operations. Officials were alerted of combatants and Mojahedin Khalq Organization members who were still intent on fighting the government and persisted in their support of the Mojahedin. They were condemned to hang and instructions were issued that the sentence should be carried out in accordance to the provisions laid down by Islamic jurisdiction...

The sentences were being meted out at a time that President Mohammad Khatami was the deputy for ideological and cultural affairs to the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces. He carried out Imam Khomeini's sentence in all earnest...

The article by the editor in chief in Iran-e Farda was deemed an open objection to Imam Khomeini's sentence and pinpointed to Mohammad Khatami as one of the foremost proponents of the verdict.