Iran news agency closed for 3 days over bank 'lies'

The Fars News Agency, one of Iran's biggest, stopped running articles before noon local time (0730 GMT) following the order from a supervisory media body.

Iran news agency closed for 3 days over bank 'lies'
An Iranian news agency has been shut down for three days, accused of publishing "lies" about the possible dismissal of the central bank governor, one of its editors said on Monday.

The Fars News Agency, one of Iran's biggest, stopped running articles before noon local time (0730 GMT) following the order from a supervisory media body.

The agency had carried a report on Sunday evening citing an informed source as saying the cabinet that day had discussed the possibility of replacing Central Bank Governor Tahmasb Mazaheri.

"Last night we received a call from the presidential office ordering us to deny the report about Mazaheri's dismissal and we said we will not do it until we get a written order," the editor told Reuters, declining to be named.

"This morning the board closed our agency for three days," the editor said.

The official IRNA news agency earlier on Monday said Fars faced a temporary ban for "spreading lies and disturbing public opinion", without giving details.

Iranian media have speculated about Mazaheri's imminent departure from the post following reports of disagreement with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad over interest rates in the world's fourth-largest oil producer.

Ahmadinejad, who came to power in 2005 on a pledge to share out Iran's oil wealth more fairly, has come under mounting criticism from parliament, the media and the public over failure to rein in inflation now running at around 24 percent annually.

Mazaheri, appointed in September, has publicly criticised Ahmadinejad over interest rate policy.

Ahmadinejad, expected to stand for re-election in 2009, has called for low interest rates and said those who oppose cutting rates should "step aside".

Reuters

Güncelleme Tarihi: 02 Haziran 2008, 13:33
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