- The Washington Times - Monday, October 28, 2013

Iran on Monday closed down a newspaper for a report that authorities say painted Islamic principles in a poor light.

The nation’s state-run media said the daily Bahar is now banned, The Associated Press reported. Authorities closed down the newspaper’s operations over an op-ed that raised doubts about the appointed successor of the prophet Muhammad.

The view runs counter to those of Shiite Muslims, who believe that Muhammed named his son-in-law, Ali Ibn Abi Talib, to be the next leader of Islam society, AP said.

State-run media said such views violate Islam laws against insulting the faith, and that in such instances, Iran authorities can rightly close down the newspaper.

Bahar’s editors took preemptive action after the op-ed ran and shut down operations, hoping to stave off a formal and possible permanent closure by Iranian authorities, AP reported. But the strategy didn’t work.

In the last decade or so, Iran’s court officials have closed more than 120 newspapers for reform-minded articles that were published, and imprisoned dozens of editors and writers.

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