Iran has about 140 newspapers publishing daily. These include both national and local newspapers which range in purpose and content: While most focus on news and political analyses, some are focused on sports, economics or entertainment. But the significant ones are not more than a dozen, of which most are in Farsi language and four are in English.
There are no official figures on circulation. The biggest selling paper is considered to be Jam-e Jam, owned by the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), that reflects the conservative approach of the publisher. According to a report of the Boston-based website Tehran Bureau, Jam-e Jam was selling 450,000 copies in 2009. A popularity explained in part by its availability: The paper prints in several cities across Iran and therefore gets the copies to newsstands before competing Tehran-based publications are delivered to provincial cities.
Keyhan (Universe), one of the most conservative newspapers, is run by the office of the Supreme Leader, who appoints the Editor-in-chief, currently Hossein Shariatmadari. Believed to have a circulation between 70,000 and 100,000 copies, the newspaper is read by a conservative, religious audience and consistently keeps a hard line on domestic and foreign policy issues. It has often published articles attacking politicians or journalists of different factions accused of working for foreign intelligence agencies. There is also an English version of the paper, Keyhan International, based mostly on news and reports from foreign agencies, apart from the editorials that are normally translated from Farsi. Keyhan must not be confused with Keyhan London, a monarchist weekly published in the UK and with a small circulation, which was founded after the 1979 revolution. Jomhouri-ye Eslami (Islamic Republic) is another conservative newspaper considered to be closely linked to the Supreme Leader. But its influence does not match up to Keyhan.
Resalat (Message), is another important conservative newspaper, with strong links to the traditional Bazaar merchants. It reflects the views of the conservative Islamic Coalition Party and the Islamic Association of Engineers. Another conservative newspaper, in English, is Tehran Times, which was founded in 1979 immediately after the revolution and is affiliated with the Islamic Propagation Organisation. Its circulation does not surpass 15,000 copies.
Among what are considered as the ‘centrist’, or moderate-conservative, newspapers there is Hamshahri (The Fellow Citizen), published by the Municipality of Tehran, with a circulation of 350,000 copies. Founded during the presidency of Rafsanjani by the mayor at the time, Gholamhossein Karbashchi, who was one of Rafsanjani’s closest allies, Hamshahri is the most read newspaper in the capital. According to a survey of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, in 2014 it was the favorite publication for 44.1 percent of the readers in Tehran. Next, is Ettela’at (Information) one of the oldest newspapers in Iran, founded in 1926. Iran, launched in 1995, is a daily owned by the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), the State news agency that also publishes an English edition, Iran Daily. The newspaper, like the agency, supports the policies of the government.
Shargh (East) is the main newspaper on the reformist side of the political spectrum. Founded in 2003, its publication has been suspended several times, but it has always returned to the newsstands. Another influential publication of the reformist camp is Etemaad (Trust), managed by the former MP Elias Hazrati who in 2005 founded the political group Etemaad-e Melli (National Trust) together with the former speaker of the parliament Mehdi Karroubi, one of the leaders of the Green Movement of 2009. Banned by the judiciary in that year, Etemaad has been publishing again since 2011. Both Shargh and Etemaad had reached a circulation of 100,000 copies by the mid-2000s. However, there are no figures on the present circulation. Other reformist newspapers are Vaghaye Etefaghie and Arman-e Emrouz. Donya-ye Varzesh (The World of Sports) is a sports newspaper.
Donya-ye Eghtesad (World of Economy) in Farsi and Financial Tribune in English are two newspapers specialised in economic news.