Plots, plots everywhere according to Iran’s newly elected President Ahmadinejad, from AP:
TEHRAN, Iran “” Iran’s president accused the United States and its allies on Wednesday of “hatching plots” to provoke ethnic tensions and destabilize Iran, a day after the government closed a state-run newspaper for publishing a cartoon that sparked riots by ethnic Azeris.
“They (the U.S. and its allies) must know that they will not be able to provoke divisions and differences, through desperate attempts, among the dear Iranian nation,” Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in a speech broadcast live on state-run television.
Iran closed the state-run Farsi language newspaper Iran and detained its chief editor and cartoonist on Tuesday for publishing a cartoon that showed a cockroach speaking Azeri and suggested Azeris are stupid.
It was the first closure of a newspaper since Ahmadinejad came to office last year “” and the heavy response, along with public apologies by Iranian officials, suggested the government is concerned the United States may try to stir up trouble among Iran’s ethnic minorities.
“Today, they (the U.S. and its allies) are hatching plots. They want to provoke differences, divisions, disappointment … to prevent the Iranian nation from achieving all of its rights,” Ahmadinejad told thousands of people in Khorramshahr in southwestern Iran…
More from AP:
The Press Supervisory Body closed the state-owned paper indefinitely, the first time a newspaper has been banned since President Ahmadinejad took office last year.
“Those responsible, the cartoonist and the chief editor, were summoned and the charges were read to them. The two were taken to Evin prison,” said the Tehran prosecutor, Saeed Mortazavi Mortazavi.
Saffar Harrandi, the Culture Minister, apologised on state television and promised to punish the editor and cartoonist for the publication of “divisive and provocative materials”…