Iran Brushes Aside Updated US Sanctions

Iran on Saturday brushed aside newly-imposed US sanctions over media censorship, which it said was essential to preserve "moral values" in the Islamic republic.

Dismissing them as "unimportant", Islamic Culture and Guidance Minister Mohammad Hosseini said the sanctions "against the ministry and the press watchdog are the gift of the new American administration," Mehr news agency reported.

The United States on Thursday sanctioned his ministry for closing down newspapers and detaining journalists.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Washington was determined to stop the "Iranian government from creating an 'electronic curtain' to cut Iranian citizens off from the rest of the world."

But Hosseini was dismissive.

"We do not want the American version of freedom. We cannot tolerate the break of moral values in Islamic countries ... The press watchdog is a source of pride for us," he said.

Iran's notorious press watchdog has banned several publications, mostly reformist journals, for breaching its strict regulations since the disputed 2009 re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

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