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Iranian President: Press freedom depends on national power structure

Tehran, Aug 7, IRNA -- President Mohammad Khatami said on Saturday that freedom of expression and journalists depends on the national power structure.

He said in his message to a ceremony held at Vahdat Hall to mark 'Journalists Day` that modern life needs healthy media system and press freedom.

"Press freedom will be available if the press community enjoys political immunity and the journalists are provided with job security," President Khatami said.

Minister of Culture and the Islamic Guidance Ahmad Masjed Jamei read out the president's message to the ceremony.

The president regretted that he was on a visit abroad (Baku) and he could not attend the ceremony.

"I have been deprived of taking part in the ceremony marking the 'Journalists Day`. I regard myself as a member of the press community and I am grateful to see that the Journalists Day being honored with high esteem," he said.

The president said that freedom of expression and the journalists are the complementary to the cultural development.

He said that there are weaknesses in terms of legal support for press freedom and hence the cultural development.

"The status of the press in a community indicates the strength and weakness of political system and to what extent the community enjoys cultural development," President Khatami said.

"I hope that in light of the insight of the distinguished journalists and the patience to be observed by the statesmen, freedom of expression will be respected by enforcing legal provisions to a level that the great Iranian nation deserve," President Khatami said.

... Payvand News - 8/7/04 ... --

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