Tehran, July 27, IRNA-Iranian daily "Iran News" referred on Wednesday to a scheduled farewell news conference by the outgoing President Mohammad Khatami, wishing that during his final talks with the press "Khatami speaks to the nation candidly, honestly and without stipulation or reservation."
Criticizing the president for being "too cautious and timid" in his talks with the press, the Iran News said in its editorial that President Khatami was "simply not strong or tough enough of a chief executive to effectively stand up for the rights and freedoms of the press."
The English-language daily added "But despite it all, the reform-minded press will always have a soft spot in its heart for Seyed Mohammad Khatami. No one can turn back the clock and undo what has come to pass since 1997."
Stressing that independent media "had enormous respect" for the president because of his "integrity and decency," the paper said that for the millions of Iranians who supported Khatami and for those in the press who paid dearly for writing to defend the president's ideals, there would be a "great deal of sadness and disappointment" over the end of his tenure.
However, Iran News added in conclusion, that more than 20 million Iranian citizens who twice voted President Khatami in office would "expect nothing less than a frank discussion and truth-telling session."
... Payvand News - 7/27/05 ... --