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Iran shuts down paper, cites anti-Islamic article

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran has shut down a reformist newspaper over an article that allegedly undermined Islamic values.

State TV reported Monday that Iran's media supervisory body banned the daily Bahar, citing a law authorizing media closures over articles deemed to violate Islamic values or insult Islam. Bahar published an op-ed article on Wednesday that expressed doubts the Prophet Muhammad had appointed a successor — a statement that contradicts the beliefs of Shiite Muslims.

Shiite Muslims believe Muhammad designated Imam Ali Ibn Abi Talib, his son-in-law, as the leader of the Islamic society. Last week, Bahar's chief editors temporarily shut the publication down for two weeks, possibly in an effort to avoid the ban.

Since 2000, Iran's judiciary has shut down more than 120 pro-reform newspapers and jailed dozens of editors and writers.

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