Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Iranian leader backs scholars

Rouhani wants restrictions lifted

  • Print

TEHRAN, Iran -- Iran's president stepped up his challenge to the country's hard-line factions Monday, calling for lifting restrictions on academic freedoms and granting Iranian scholars more opportunity to take part in international conferences.

The message from Hassan Rouhani underscores the increasing friction between his moderate-leaning camp and entrenched forces such as hard-line student organizations that have questioned the scope of the new president's overtures to Washington.

Rouhani has pushed to break Iran's standoff with the international community over its contested nuclear program, the subject of renewed talks with world powers due to resume on today in Geneva.

Some Iranian hardliners oppose any detente with the U.S., and on Monday made their voices heard, disrupting a speech by former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani with shouts of "death to the U.S.," the semi-official news agency Mehr reported. Days earlier, the elder statesman had urged Iranians to stop using the popular chant at rallies in order to aid Rouhani's outreach.

Hardliners have vowed to organize a major anti-U.S. rally to mark the anniversary of the storming of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979 by militant students on Nov. 4

Rouhani's Monday call, broadcast on state television, points to potential deeper political fissures. Iran's top policymaker, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has endorsed Rouhani's outreach to the U.S., but some forces coming under the president's criticism also are controlled by Khamenei, who has final say on all state matters.

Rouhani, who took office in August, has previously called for lifting curbs on social-media access and urged police not to crack down on perceived violations of Islamic dress codes for women.

"This is a shame for an administration that its students and professors are not able to express their viewpoints," Rouhani told Tehran University students and professors.

"This administration will not tolerate factional pressures on universities."

He also urged authorities not to block scholars from taking part in international gatherings, calling it "scientific diplomacy."

"I urge all security apparatuses, including the intelligence ministry, to open the way for this diplomacy. Trust the universities," Rouhani said.

In recent years, many professors and student activists at Iranian universities were expelled or went into forced retirement under pressure from hard-line groups.

Rouhani also reiterated his promises for greater outreach to the world.

"We should have solidarity and peaceful co-existence with all friendly countries or even with all the world's nations," he told the gathering.

The Tehran Jewish Association, in a statement made available to The Associated Press Monday, supported Rouhani's international outreach and urged U.S. President Barack Obama and other western leaders to use the "golden opportunity" to seek better relations with Iran.

Iran and the United States broke ties after the storming of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in the wake of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

 

-- The Associated Press

 

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 15, 2013 A12

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Waywayseecappo Community School at We Day 2014

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • MIKE.DEAL@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 100615 - Tuesday, June 15th, 2010 The Mane Attraction - Lions are back at the Assiniboine Park Zoo. Xerxes a 3-year-old male African Lion rests in the shade of a tree in his new enclosure at the old Giant Panda building.  MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
  • KEN GIGLIOTTI  WINNIPEG FREE PRESS / July 23 2009 - 090723 - Bart Kives story - Harry Lazarenko Annual River Bank Tour - receding water from summer rains and erosion  damage by flood  and ice  during spring flooding -  Red River , Lyndale Dr. damage to tree roots , river bank damage  , high water marks after 2009 Flood - POY

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What's your favourite Halloween treat to hand out?

View Results

Ads by Google