Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says his administration is committed to the promises it made to the academic community during his 2013 presidential election campaign. Rouhani made the remarks on Tuesday while addressing the inauguration ceremony of the new academic year of Iranian universities.
The president also said, "My administration has not forgotten the pledges it made to universities and has even succeeded to fulfill a number of them."
Universities no 'political club'
Elsewhere in his speech, Rouhani cautioned about turning universities into "political clubs", stating however that universities should be places were opinions should be freely presented.
"All should realize that this is a university, not a political club, nor a center for the activity of political parties. However, everyone is entitled to participating in socio-political issues," he stated.
"The basis of Islam is that everyone is honest, sincere, and innocent unless proven otherwise," he said. "We should allow people express themselves liberally."
Rouhani said during the past one year his administration has tried to establish a calm atmosphere in universities while allowing different groups present their political ideas.
He went on to say that Islamization of human sciences never means chopping off parts of the human knowledge that relate to humanities.
"We might have some criticism with regards to humanities when they do not correspond to our Islamic teachings. However, we should criticize those parts rather than ruling them entirely out. Our mistake is that we want to scrap out some parts of science," Rouhani stated.
Even if some have certain critical points to offer about human sciences, they should put forward fresh words and more precise ideas instead of trying to cross out certain parts of sciences, he added.
'Peaceful' use of nuclear energy
The president also defended Iran's "peaceful" nuclear program, saying the country intends to make peaceful use of nuclear energy and has the right to enrich uranium just like any other NPT signatory in the world.
Rouhani also called for the involvement of universities in different issues.
"If the country is through environmental issues, it is not just the administration which is to blame; universities should be blamed, as well. If we have economic problems, the government alone is not at fault. Universes should also participate to find a solution," Rouhani noted.
"We are all responsible. Universities are not solely places to issue certificates or [for students] to pass units and take exams. Universities should serve to create responsible and cooperative people," he suggested.
Scientific interaction with world
Elsewhere in his address, President Rouhani called for cooperation between Iranian and foreign academic bodies.
"Interaction with world does not merely mean interaction in the political scene; rather, we should interact with the world in economic, scientific, and technological issues, as well."
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