Iran General NewsIran media subsidies to be based on loyalty: minister

Iran media subsidies to be based on loyalty: minister

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AFP: Iranian newspapers will receive government aid based on their loyalty to the establishment, Culture and Islamic Guidance Minister Mohammad Hosseini was quoted as saying by media on Thursday.

TEHRAN (AFP) — Iranian newspapers will receive government aid based on their loyalty to the establishment, Culture and Islamic Guidance Minister Mohammad Hosseini was quoted as saying by media on Thursday.

“The subsidies allocated to newspapers will be given in line with their stance. We cannot aid newspapers that go against the path of the establishment,” Hosseini added without naming specific media.

“We will not provide aid to print media, book publishers and film-makers that go contrary to the path of the establishment, but we will help those newspapers whose stance is in line with the establishment’s aims,” he said.

The authorities have cracked down on the media and journalists since the disputed June 2009 re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, which the opposition dismissed as massively rigged, sparking street protests.

Several newspapers close to the opposition have been closed and dozens of journalists have been rounded up and sentenced to heavy prison terms.

Ahmadinejad’s government has cracked down on critical media, mostly in the rival reformist camp, although some conservative publications have also been hit by closures.

Earlier this month, the authorities revoked the filming permit for internationally acclaimed director Asghar Farhadi’s unfinished movie because of his support for dissident film-makers.

Iranian film-makers need the culture ministry’s permission before shooting, and all artistic productions and books are subject to vetting before release.

Many film-makers, writers and artists have complained about increased censorship under Ahmadinejad, and most backed opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi in last year’s presidential election.

The authorities jailed celebrated director Jafar Panahi for three months this year over an “unauthorised” film about the post-election unrest amid a crackdown on critics and opposition supporters.

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