Sanctions, profiteering put Iranian newspapers in a bind

Al-Monitor | : The future of some Iranian newspapers is in limbo as they can’t afford paper, a new phenomenon stemming in part from US sanctions.

Paper imports have grown increasingly expensive in the past year, and especially since May, when the United States withdrew from the nuclear deal with Iran — the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). A number of newspapers have been forced to shut down or reduce their page count and circulation. Contributing to the problem is the impact of the rial devaluation and associated issues related to imports. The Paper and Cardboard Producers’ Syndicate told Iran’s Financial Tribune that the price of publication paper has doubled in the past year because of currency exchange rate volatility.

The reformist Hambastegi newspaper was one of the first victims, closing July 17. Experiencing the same problem, Kar va Kargar on July 25 was unable to publish for the day. Meanwhile, the high-circulation Hamshahri newspaper, which belongs to the Tehran municipality, and Reformist paper Sazandegi both eliminated eight pages of their folios. The tabloid Haft-e Sobh was compelled to raise its prices, doubling the cost to 20,000 rials (48 cents). Additionally, Ettelaat, one of the oldest dailies in Iran, seems to have stopped publishing its 50-year-old sports magazine, Donyaye Varzesh.

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