[JURIST] A spokesman for the government of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad [official website; BBC profile] has urged Iranian prosecutors to pursue charges against several Iranian newspapers who have published articles accusing Ahmadinejad of financial wrongdoing in recent weeks. In a letter sent to Tehran's prosecutor, government spokesman Gholam Hossein Elham accused the media of "spreading lies" and said that the "bulk of false reports against the government should be followed up by the public prosecutor."
The Iranian government began a crackdown on independent media [JURIST report] earlier this year, prompting the Committee to Protect Journalists to particularly condemn Iran's record [JURIST report] in its annual report [text] on media repression. Several lawmakers have questioned the government's letter to the judiciary, saying that if it shouldn't appear that the government is making threats. AFP has more.