The 25th annual Tehran Book Fair opened today amid news that several Iranian publishing companies are being prohibited from setting up their usual stalls.

Iranian media report that the book fair was officially opened in the presence of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Mohammad Hosseiny, the Minister of Culture and Guidance.

More than 10 publishing houses have been banned from the book fair with no clear reason given.

The Culture and Guidance Minister told a press conference yesterday that only one publishing house (“Cheshmeh”) has been barred from the fair. However, reports indicate that at least 10 more publishing houses were denied entry, including “Omid-e Farda”, “Kavir” and “Boutimar”.

This is reportedly the first year that scientific and cultural publications from Brazil, Tatarstan, Egypt and Tunisia have participated in the Tehran Book Fair.