The government-run Persian-language daily, Iran, close to reformist President Mohammad Khatami, received a bomb threat Saturday from Islamic fundamentalist circles following the paper's criticism of a leading conservative daily, the paper reported Sunday.
"An unknown woman telephoned Iran and said the daily would be bombed," in a couple of hours, said the paper, which is published by the official IRNA news agency.
The woman said the reason for the threat was Iran's publication of certain "revelations" by IRNA over a series of articles in the conservative Persian-language Kayhan paper that targeted reformist figures close to President Khatami.
"Police forces inspected the area after the bomb threat," the paper said.
"Threats against the paper's staff members began early yesterday, and all phone callers said the reason for their threats was IRNA's revelations."
"Leading staff members were threatened and insulted," by the caller, it said.
The bomb threat came just three days after IRNA announced it has been flooded by "organized threatening phone calls" from Islamic fundamentalist circles over its criticism of Kayhan.
The threat is the latest stage in a dispute between IRNA and Kayhan, which has erupted over the past few days.
In three recent editions, Kayhan claimed that most pro-reform journalists and the liberal Islamic thinkers Abdolkarim Sorush and Mohsen Kadivar had received money from the US-based human rights organization, Human Rights Watch, allegations that have been harshly denounced by reformers.
IRNA responded by describing Kayhan's reports as an organized campaign against Khatami allies, which in turn sparked further attacks by Kayhan.
IRNA then threatened to publicize revelations against the "bellicose" newspaper, which it said was controlled by "suspicious and invisible elements."
Kadivar was released from Tehran's Evin prison Sunday after 18 months in detention on charges of disseminating anti-Islamic propaganda - TEHRAN (AFP)
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