The official reason for the closure of Shargh, was this cartoon that was printed on the back of its pages. The cartoon that shows people blindly following one another and tying up each other's blindfolds, was interpreted as deriding the martyrs of the Iran-Iraq war going to the fronts!!
More than 100 hardline Islamic Republic MPs also signed a petition to close down the newspaper. Member of the Cultural Commission of Majlis, a parliamentary body in IR, Hojat-ol-Islam Ali Taheri, who was a signatory to the petition, admitted he had not seen the cartoon but nevertheless signed the petition to close the newspaper! Perhaps the best case of manifesting the spirit of the controversial cartoon itself.
In the Islamic Republic, all the newspapers have to appoint someone as the "Accountable Manager". Basically if anything goes wrong and if anything outside the red lines is printed, the buck stops with the "Accountable Manager" and it is his neck which will be on the line. The closure of Shargh, not only resulted in all its staff losing their jobs overnight but also the arrest of Mehdi Rahmanian its accountable manager and the cartoonis, Hadi Heydari.
Rahmanian has served 18 months at the war front and the cartoonist, Hadi Heydari, is son of a war martyr.
Yet somehow employing this Saddam sycophant by Press TV is not an affront to Iran's war martyrs!!