“We agree with Mr. President that ‘protests are absolutely okay, but riots should be prevented.’ But the question is: how should people voice their protests in a way that their measures are not exploited by certain parties and turned into riots?” wrote Jomhouri-e Eslami in an editorial.
The daily pointed to President Raisi’s comments in a recent TV interview, during which he said, “Criticism of the methods of enforcing laws should not be restricted. What’s wrong with allocating a center to dialog, criticism and even protests against problems?”
The daily highlighted what it described as the government’s bias toward pro-establishment demonstrations and also protests critical of the government.
The “basic problem” is that a group of people can hold rallies whenever or wherever they wish without the need to seek official permission, chant whatever slogan they prefer, while others never get to obtain permissions and are thus forced to voice their demands in a fashion that their protests are used by opportunists and turned into riots, it said.
Addressing President Raisi, the daily said no riots will happen if you act on the pledge to establish a center for dialog, criticism and protests as soon as you make such a promise and if security bodies begin to issue permissions for gatherings “without any discrimination.”