Iran’s president has lashed out at the hardliners and the opposition media for using foul language when criticizing the government.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says some people do not know what language and tone they should use when talking to the government, to the region, and the whole world.
“How is it that some of us don’t correct our tone?” said the president during an evening fast-breaking meal with journalists.
“We will get nowhere by using harsh tones,” he noted, adding, “Swear to God, there is no other way but [to go for] moderation.”
He said the late founder of the Islamic Republic Imam Khomeini managed to make the 1979 Revolution emerge victorious through moderate policies.
“If Imam Khomeini had told people to go and stand against army troops, a bloodbath would have engulfed the country,” but he acted wisely, said the president.
Rouhani said even Imam Ali (PBUH), the first Shiite Imam, reacted when he saw some of his troops were swearing at the enemy.
“When Imam Ali saw that some of his forces in the Battle of Siffin [a war between Muslims and infidels in 657 CE] were swearing at enemy troops during the war, he reacted and said he didn’t want followers who swear at the enemy,” said president Rouhani.
“Now, why do some of us, who claim to be Shiite followers of Imam Ali, take pride in using swear words and regard using foul language as revolutionarism?” asked the president rhetorically.
The president then highlighted the key role of media, and said journalists have a holy profession.
He said media outlets are obliged to inform the public of realities in the society, and should seek to help realise national objectives.
“Media do not make news; rather, they reflect realities, which is a heavy responsibility,” said President Rouhani.
He then touched upon the key role of media during the recent elections in Iran marked by a huge voter turnout.
“The election days were very important days for the country,” he said, adding Iranians determined their future by casting their ballots.
“The huge voter turnout in the elections came at the most sensitive juncture in the region, in history, and in the world, i.e. at a time when the West was seeking to exert fresh pressure on Iran, and some in the region had got together to send a message or threat to Iran,” president Rouhani underlined.
“Terrorists had been ordered by their masters to trigger insecurity in Iran, but Iranian people turned out en masse and thwarted all these plots,” he added.
He said constructive criticism is very useful and necessary, but the realities should be covered by media as well.
“We thank all media outlets which discharged their responsibilities, and request the ones which we believe were not treading the right path to … help create a new atmosphere, and make tones friendlier,” he said.