Report by Tehran Times; photos by Mohammad Babaii, Islamic Republic News Agency
TEHRAN -- President Hassan Rouhani has called on Iranian artists and literati to prove Iran's genuine belief in pacifism to the world by means of art and culture. Speaking during a meeting with Iranian artists and cultural figures on Friday evening in Tehran, he said, "Iranian people have always been against violence and extremism."
"If there is someone or a small group, which goes a different way, you the culture lovers should tell the entire world through the creation of the most beautiful poems, films and artworks that the Iranian people are a nation of peace, friendship and brotherhood," he added.
A large group of Iranian artists, musicians, cineastes and literati attended the meeting, which was organized by the presidential office.
Elsewhere, he said, "There has often been a struggle between artists and literati on one side, and the government on the other side, to steal the limelight in the society."
He considered that to be a big mistake made by the artists and the government and said, "All of us should be at the people's service and show that both the artists and the government are their servants."
Representatives of the artists in each field also delivered short speeches about their problems at the meeting.
President Rouhani also hosted the artists and literati for iftar, the evening meal for breaking the dawn-to-dusk fast during the holy month of Ramadan.
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