A senior Iranian official says the government is not opposed to free flow of information in society, and is resolved to pave the way for people to express their criticisms.
Vice President for Women Affairs Masoumeh Ebtekhar said the government has been trying to create room for criticism in society despite propaganda campaigns to create the impression that the opposite is true.
“The government has never been against free flow of information, and has always been determined to pave the way for transparency and for people to express their claims,” she added.
She noted the Constitution as well as other laws provide for people’s right to express their criticism and objections.
“One of the requirements of freedom of expression and civil rights is the very right to express one’s protest, and the 11th and 12th administrations have tried to make room for criticism in society despite all the propaganda and alarmism against the government,” she underscored.
“To that end, different tools have been provided to support media and free flow of information,” she said.
“If the Internet was disrupted for a few days, that was because of the special situation in the country, and under such circumstances, the government is the not the only one to make decisions,” the vice president noted.
She said protests such as the ones which broke out in Iran recently have existed in all eras and times, adding Iran is not the only country where protests erupt every now and then.
Ebtekar said the recent rise in gasoline prices is in favour of low-income deciles of the population.
She then lashed out at anti-Iran entities such as the United States and Saudi Arabia and their support for rioters in Iran.
“[During the recent protests in Iran,] a number of rioters took advantage of the situation and popular discontent as well as the fragile conditions created by the United States’ tough economic sanctions, and inflicted serious damage to private and public areas and resources,” she said.
She also noted such moves are different from popular protests and are regarded as acts of sabotage.