World Philosophy Day opened in Tehran with words from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad today.
UNESCO, the founder of the event, announced earlier that it will not take part in the events held in Tehran. They maintained that they had accepted a proposal from the Iranian Philosophy Institute to host the event two years ago, but had now decided that the "conditions necessary to guarantee the effective organization of a UN international conference have not been met" by Iran.
While UNESCO did not announce specific reason for its disassociation with the World Philosophy Day events in Iran, Canadian Press in Paris had commented that "diplomats said the move was partly a reaction to restrictions on the teaching of social sciences at Iranian universities."
The Islamic Republic is reconsidering the curricula of 12 university fields of
study, including philosophy in order to make them compatible with Islamic
Iranian authorities have condemned UNESCO's decision to withdraw from their events and the Head of Iran's Judiciary reacted to this move saying: "UNESCO has put its scientific and cultural reputation under question by turning this issue into a political one."
UNESCO's move to pull out of the events came after numerous philosophers and academics from around the world expressed their outrage at holding the events in Iran.
Many questioned the eligibility of a country that has no tolerance for diversity
in philosophical thinking, for holding such a gathering.
The World Philosophy Day events in Tehran will continue until Saturday November 27.
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