Fair criticism key to Iran’s progress: party official

October 15, 2007

TEHRAN -- Islamic Coalition Party Deputy Secretary General Hamidreza Taraqi here on Sunday said that fair criticism provide grounds for the country’s comprehensive development.

Supreme Leader’s remarks on the significance of students’ criticism reflect the realities of the society, he told the Mehr News Agency.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Tuesday stated that students can criticize all officials including the Leader.
However, he said there should be a differentiation between criticism and animosity. “But this does not mean not to criticize or demand (something) from different officials including, the Leadership.”
Taraqi stated that certain officials accept no criticism of the country’s affairs and express concern over students’ criticisms.
“However, according to Supreme Leader’s comments such concerns are baseless,” he added.
Ayatollah Khamenei’s remarks indicate that a fair criticism would help reinforce and amend the country’s policies, he added.
In a separate interview with MNA, Tehran City Council Chairman Mehdi Chamran said that criticisms aimed at undermining the government should not be mistaken for “constructive and scientific criticism.”
Chamran added that the ninth government is certainly open to criticism but some students misinterpret political defamation with harmless and fruitful criticism.
Meanwhile Iran’s House of Parties Chairman Hassan Musavi Tabrizi said that the Supreme Leaders’ remarks are applicable to all times.
The government should welcome criticism on various issues, he said, adding that criticisms aimed at spreading animosity would certainly be ineffective.
“Islamic principles suggest that criticism should be based on morality,” he noted.
The MNA also sought the views of the presidential advisor for press affairs Ali-Akbar Javanfekr who believed that Iranian officials want to serve the nation and make every effort to fulfill their responsibilities toward their country.
The ninth government enjoys the highest capacity for accepting criticism, he said, adding that criticisms should focus on “decisions, plans, and performances” rather than “certain individuals and their statements”.
However, former minister of industries and mines Eshaq Jahangiri described the nine governments’ response towards criticisms “aggressive.”
Those who criticize the government’s foreign policy should not be accused of espionage, he told MNA; on the other hand they should be open to criticism in order to correct their mistakes, he added.