Iran Supreme Leader Ali Kahmenei and IRGC commanders. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP) (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

The Ghanoon newspaper said in a statement on its website Monday that Tehran’s prosecutor ordered it to halt operations based on allegations of ‘libel and spreading lies to create public anxiety.’

The independent Ghanoon newspaper in Iran said in a statement that authorities shut it down following complaints from the Revolutionary Guard (IRGC). The statement did not elaborate.

An article published in the newspaper in February criticized the Guard’s handling of the detention of 10 US Navy sailors who were seized the month before and held for around 15 hours.

The newspaper compared video footage showing the detained sailors kneeling to Islamic State (ISIS) videos showing the beheading of captives.

At the time, Revolutionary Guard Commander Mohammad Ali Jafari had called the article “a big mistake” and said Ghanoon “must repent for what it has said.”

The Revolutionary Guard is intended to protect the country’s Islamic system. The IRGC states that its role in protecting the Islamic system is preventing foreign interference as well as coups by the military or “deviant movements.”

The State Department’s annual report on global terrorist activity published earlier this month stated that Iran continued to use the Al-Quds unit of the IRGC to implement its foreign policy goals through the development of its terrorism network, which spans the Middle East, Africa and several other countries.

By: AP and United with Israel Staff