Tehran Hit with Burst of Graffiti Against Embattled Culture Minister
Tehran municipal public works employees were out on the streets Saturday cleaning up a barrage of graffiti that appeared overnight attacking embattled Culture Minister Ayatollah Mohajerani.
"Shame on Mohajerani" and "Mohajerani responsible for cultural decline" had been spray-painted along major boulevards in the north of the capital just days after he came under indirect fire from Iran's supreme leader.
"I am not at all satisfied with the deeds and the record of the government's cultural officials," Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Tuesday.
"Because they have done what they shouldn't have done, and not done what they should have," said Khamenei, who has made no secret of his displeasure with the prominent reformist minister.
Mohajerani has been a regular target of conservative wrath over the alleged "laxity" in the handling of the press by the culture ministry, which issues newspaper licenses.
More than 25 newspapers and journals were closed by the conservative-dominated courts after reformists behind President Mohammad Khatami won control of parliament in February's elections.
Conservatives put much of the blame for their defeat on what had been a flourishing and increasingly critical press.
Mohajerani, a close ally of the president, gave Khatami his resignation earlier this year only to have it refused.
He later said he would be willing to stand by Khatami but last month again announced his intention to step down in the face of the increasingly vocal campaign against him -- TEHRAN (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)