The head of the Etela’at daily has urged President Hassan Rohani to call on the judiciary to end the “illegal process” of banning the media from publishing news about former president Mohammad Khatami.

Mohammad Khatami and Mahmoud Doayi

Mohammad Khatami and Mahmoud Doayi

In a letter dated Wednesday December 9, Mahmoud Doayi states that the ban on Mohammad Khatami in the media is “a restriction on the freedom of the media and a violation of the constitution”.

Etela’at published an interview with Mohammad Khatami along with photos from the interview two days ago.

That led to the Prosecutor’s Office of Culture and the Media charging Doayi with an offence.
Last year, the spokesman for the judiciary announced that it was enforcing a ban on Khatami’s image and any news about him. Since then, dailies have been referring to Khatami as the head of the reform government.

Khatami has been shunned, especially by Islamic Republic hardliners, for his support for the reformist candidates in the 2009 presidential election: MirHosein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, who have been under house arrest since 2011 and unofficially accused of sedition.

Etela’at is the oldest newspaper still being published in Iran. The heads of the Etela’at and Keyhan dailies are appointed by Iran’s Supreme Leader, and Mahmoud Doayi, a reformist member of the clergy, was appointed as the head of Etela’at by the now-deceased Ayatollah Khomeini in 1981.