Ali Rabiei, the spokesperson of former Iranian president Hassan Rouhani’s government, in an article run by E’temad Newspaper, titled “The Damaged Discourse of Rubbing Salt Into the Wound,” wrote, “The unfortunate thing is that instead of pursuing reconciliation and calming policies, quite contrarily, they pursue the policy of provoking the society and rubbing salt into the wound.”
Rabiei also warned, “The recent events have increased vulnerability in the current mental state of the society … which can be detected at a cursory glance,” referring to the deadly protests and riots in several Iranian cities following the death of 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini, after she was arrested by the police almost three weeks ago.
Rabiei blamed the prolonged inflation and poverty, lack of hope for a better economy, coupled with the US-led sanctions imposed on Iran as the reasons for the boiling dissent in society.
The former spokesperson said, under the current circumstances, the media have failed to fulfill their duty of filling the gaps between the ruling establishment and the people, and fix the misperceptions and unreal mindset in society.
He suggested a three-pronged agenda for the media to help restore calm to society by moving towards investigative journalism, staying away from provocative policies, and adopting policies that shed a clear light on the realities on the ground.