The culture ministry’s press supervisory board suspended the daily called Iran on May 23 after publishing a cartoon that offended Azeris and led to days of unrest in northwestern provinces, where Azeris make up a majority of the population.
The daily’s main headline on Satuday read:”The people of Iran, hello!” Another headline read: “Iran newspaper begins publication after a five-month-long stop.”
The daily carried an editorial by Mohammad Hossein Saffar-Harandi, the minister of culture, that said the suspension of “Iran” has been a result of careless journalism.
“Now Iran newspaper has returned with a mouthful of apologies and a heart full of compassion for all Iranians of all ethnicities,” the editorial read.
The cartoon that caused the newspaper’s suspension showed a boy repeating the Persian word for cockroach in different ways while the uncomprehending bug says “What?” in Azeri.
The Azeris, who make up 25 per cent of the population, speak a language related to Turkish. Many Azeris are among Iran’s business elite but majority Persians often mock them in jokes.
A court had ended the newspaper ban in September; but it did not make clear when it was supposed to resume publication.
Gholamhossein Eslamifard, the newspaper’s managing director, was acquitted of insulting Iran’s Azeri minority in August.