Ali Jannati, the Minister of Culture and Guidance, says the government is not responsible for bans on books and newspapers.

ISNA reports that Jannati said the Press Supervisory Board is a seven-member committee including representatives from the judiciary, Parliament, seminaries and the High Council of the Cultural Revolution, and the Ministry of Culture has only two members on it. The decisions are taken by majority vote, Jannati said.

Progressive forces had high hopes that the Rohani government would create a more open arena for cultural activities, but restrictions on newspapers and books have persisted with greater input from hardliners.