TEHRAN - President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday that some people who are not literate enough are constantly airing criticism of the Geneva nuclear deal while university scholars only express their views in private.
Rouhani made the remarks in a meeting of university chancellors and heads of research and training centers in Tehran.
“Why do only a number of people with little knowledge speak?” he asked.
“Why when an international event happens professors only write a private letter to the president? Why don’t you cry loudly? Why don’t you come to the scene?” he asked. “The history will not forgive us for this.”
“Why only a small number who are” supported “by a small number of groups speak?” the president noted. “However, we do not say that they should not speak but why should only they speak?”
He also said it is necessary to avoid factional disputes, advising hardliners to put an end to a constant talking of “left faction” or “right faction”.
“Let’s take care a little bit about people and our country and the future of our country.”
The president also said it is necessary to provide a calm political atmosphere in universities.
Some consider university and student as a “threat” but the “government of prudence and hope” - a trademark of the Rouhani government - believes that university is a “solution and not a problem,” he explained.
He added some political groups consider themselves as the “custodian” of people and view all others as “suspects”.
Elsewhere in his speech, the president said students should know about “politics” and this does not mean that universities should be turned into centers for “factional or political” activities.
The president also said nobody has the right to use “public wealth” to promote the views of a particular party or faction.
Rouhani also said it is necessary to promote unity in the country.
“Don’t we want to seek reconciliation? Do we want to stand against each and not abandon an issue which had happened in the past,” the president said in an indirect reference to the protests that followed the 2009 presidential election.
MPs react to Rouhani’s remarks
The president who described some critics of the Geneva deal as people with less knowledge provoked a reaction among some parliamentarians and certain political figures.
A principlist politician, Lotfollah Forouzandeh, said, “We have no right to call our critics uneducated.” He said the government should be open to criticism.
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