Iran shuts down magazine which called for negotiations with US

Iranian authorities shut down reformist magazine which warned against closing the Strait of Hormuz.

Elad Benari ,

American and Iranian flags
American and Iranian flags

Iranian authorities have shut down a reformist magazine that had urged negotiations with the United States, The Associated Press reported Sunday, citing local Iranian media.

The weekly magazine Seda was handed a suspension order Saturday by a court in Tehran, the reformist newspaper Arman reported.

Seda’s most recent front page had shown a US aircraft carrier fleet and the caption “At the crossroads between war and peace.”

The magazine called for “high-level engagement” between the US and Iran, warning that closing the strategic Strait of Hormuz, an occasional Iranian threat, would lead to “widespread war.”

Last week, the US military deployed an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to the Middle East in a move that US officials said was made to counter “clear indications” of threats from Iran to American forces in the region.

In the last few years there have been several close encounters between Iranian and American vessels in the Persian Gulf.

Recently, a commander in the Iranian Revolutionary Guards threatened US bases in Afghanistan, the UAE and Qatar, as well as US aircraft carriers in the Gulf. These bases, he said, are within range of Iranian missiles which have a range of 700 km (450 miles).

A third of all oil traded by sea passes through the Strait of Hormuz, which lies at the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf.

The Seda article followed US President Donald Trump’s call on the Iranian regime to agree to talks with the US aimed at ending its nuclear program, though he also hinted that the US could use military force against Iran.

On Friday, the deputy leader of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps’ political bureau stressed that Iran will not engage in talks with the US and added that the United States would never “dare” to attack the Islamic Republic.

Iran is notorious for the limitations it imposes on freedom of expression. In addition to shutting down media outlets that are deemed to be undermining the regent, the country also blocks access to numerous websites, including Facebook and Twitter.