Iranian authorities temporarily shut down the newspaper of Mehdi Karoubi, a leading reformist and opponent of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Karoubi's party said in a post on its website Monday.
Etemad-e Melli was shut down late on Sunday on the orders of the Tehran prosecutor's office, the website said. The party's name is also Etemad-e Melli (National Trust.) The newspaper was not published on Monday.
Karoubi's son, Hossein, was quoted as saying, "Last night a representative of the prosecutor's office came to the Etemad-e Melli printing house and announced the temporary shutdown of the daily."
There was no immediate comment from the judiciary.
The ISNA news agency said the daily was closed because it planned to publish a statement on its frontpage on Monday.
It said Karoubi planned to respond to "insults" against him by his hardline opponents and say he would not be not silenced.
Tehran prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi told the semi-official Mehr news agency that the paper was not banned but did not hit the newsstands because of "technical problems."
"The reason for the paper not being published is due to problems at the printing house and the paper was not banned," Mortazavi said.
However, Esmail Gherami Moghaddam, spokesman for Karoubi's political party, also called Etemad-e-Melli, insisted that the paper had been banned.
"Since the prosecution said it is a temporary ban we hope that we will be able to see the paper go to print tomorrow," he was quoted as saying by the ILNA news agency.
Calls for lashing
Meanwhile a hard-line Iranian cleric called on Karoubi to be lashed over his controversial claims that some election protesters were raped or tortured in custody.
Karoubi has stoked the ire of the authorities with allegations that women and young boys detained in custody after the massive protests over Ahmadinejad's re-election had been raped. His allegation was rejected by the authorities as "baseless."
"In religious teachings if someone accuses another of sexual crime and he is unable to prove it, then he should receive 80 lashes," cleric Ahmad Khatami was quoted as saying by the Kayhan newspaper.
"Now Mr. Karoubi has accused the regime and his allegations were rejected by two branches of the regime," said Khatami, who is a regular leader of Friday prayers in Tehran.
Karoubi vowed on Sunday to seek the truth over the prison abuse allegations.
"But I say again that this behaviour and intimidation will not silence me and I will raise the issues I deem necessary. I will only shut up when all the dimensions of these incidents have been examined and the people are told the truth.”
Karroubi, a former parliament speaker who came a distant fourth in the June 12 election and is now a leading figure in the opposition.
He and the moderate runner-up, Mir Hossein Mousavi, said the vote was rigged to secure Ahmadinejad's re-election. The authorities denied the charge.
Another newspaper, Kalemeh Sabz (Green Word), which belonged to Ahmadinejad's main rival Mousavi was shut down by the authorities in the wake of the disputed election.
About 4,000 opposition supporters were initially arrested over the unrest that swept Tehran and other cities after the election. Most have since been released, but around 200 remain behind bars. Around 140 have also been put on trial.