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Khatami urges IRIB to avoid censorship, respect democracy

Tehran, July 4, IRNA-President Mohammad Khatami on Monday called on officials of Islamic Republic of Iran's Broadcasting (IRIB) to avoid censorship and said that they should not think that they are serving Islam through unilateral reflection of the events.

"Prohibition and censorship will no longer work," he said during a visit to IRIB, the national media which President Khatami always criticized for not reflecting the government's performance in the field of economic development.

"Strategy of prohibition and censorship does not work for solving political, social and cultural problems. Such a strategy is going to prove futile day by day."

"No power is capable of creating distance between public opinion and what is going on in the world," he said.

"You should not think that you are serving the Islamic Republic and Islamic Revolution through unilateral reflection of the events or suggesting something to the community without impartiality," President Khatami said.

"Many suggestions the IRIB is making are contrary to principles of propagation. Many admiration and extremism in justifying certain programs may backfire in the community," Khatami cautioned the IRIB officials.

"Don't think that promoting superficial approaches and admiring appearance will strengthen religious belief in the community. It may be due to the fact that a part of the IRIB is suffering from such an attitude, but, it should improve itself. You should break taboo for the sake of Islam and truth," President Khatami said.

"You should know that admiration of officials is not the only way to reinforce the Islamic Republic. Respect for people's rights, democracy, progress in all fields and enforcing justice are guarantors of strong Islamic Republic," the president said.

Elsewhere in his speech, the president defended IRIB officials in the face of criticism from the theological center for the TV shows.

"The Theological center has not the right to find fault with IRIB.

They should convey their complaints to the High Council for Cultural Revolution. They cannot lead the community to vacuum and stay outside by creating obstacles."

"During my presidency, I did my best to defend the rights of people. I founded infrastructure for progress and development of the society. On the international scene, I managed to introduce Islamic Revolution and the Iranian nation as advocates of justice and progress and I think I have been successful so far," President Khatami said.

... Payvand News - 7/4/05 ... --

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