The Maghreb daily reported on Monday that due to objections against a cartoon of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that appeared on the front page of its November 22 issue, publication of the paper will cease until the Press Supervisory Board convenes to decide its fate.
The daily denied any wrongdoing but maintains that out of respect for the law, it has decided to stop publication until the matter has been resolved.
On November 22, Maghreb published a cartoon on the front page entitled “End of Questioning” that showed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad happily tearing a piece of paper.
On Wednesday, Ayatollah Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader finally issued an order, calling on Parliament to put an end to a motion to question the president. A motion was underway to call the president for questioning about the economic woes of the country.
The Ministry of Culture told the Fars News Agency that Maghreb has a history of various violations, and publishing this cartoon “revealed their disregard for national interests and legal duties.”
The ministry also announced that it will “firmly deal” with this violation as soon as the holidays are over for the holy month of Muharram.
This is not the first time that publication of a cartoon has triggered severe reactions from Islamic Republic authorities, who have been highly sensitive about cartoons with political content.