Iranian President Hassan Rouhani
N ewly elected President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, said that the rights and freedom of Iranians had been ignored in the past and that he wanted a better progressive environment in the country. In his outspoken interview in weekly Iranian social magazine, Chelcheragh, Rouhani said that he didn’t support strict internet censorship as his predecessors and opposed segregation and discrimination based on gender. We shall now discuss why these two things in particular are good for Iran:
His stance on women discrimination:
Rouhani said in the interview, “If a woman or a man does not comply with our rules for clothing, his or her virtue should not come under question … In my view, many women in our society who do not respect our hijab laws are virtuous. Our emphasis should be on the virtue.” Although women in Iran are thought to be much more “liberal” than the ones living in Middle East, they still face a lot of discrimination in their country. The most recent example of it is the cancellation of women candidates running for presidency in this year’s elections. The constitutionally powerful Guardian Council announced that a woman is not allowed to be the president of Iran according to the country’s laws.
Is Hassan Rouhani’s election a new dawn for Iran?
An Iranian human rights organization (HRNA) reported that Isfahan University of Technology announced ‘new policies’ and changes in their graduate programs which include a ban on female students from studying in seven different engineering fields. And it wasn’t the first time such a ban was placed on female students in Iran. Last year, thirty-six universities across the country banned women from 77 different majors, including accounting, counseling, and engineering. In 2011, former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad took steps to promote government-approved apparel for women that were “Islamic and beautiful” at the
same time. The effort garnered a lot of criticism from Iranian women who thought that the government was trying to impose its excessive control on the lives of the female population. So, it’s a good sign that Rouhani even “acknowledges” that there are restrictions on women and they need to be changed.
His stance on web censorship and television:
While shedding some light on the issue of web censorship, Rouhani said, “In the age of digital revolution, one cannot live or govern in quarantine.” He also realized, “Filtering has not even stopped people from accessing unethical [a reference to pornographic] websites. Widespread online filtering will only increase distrust between people and the state.” Iranian authorities have conducted harsh crackdown on Iranians owning satellite dishes in the past which millions have installed on rooftops for access to foreign-based TV channels illegal in the country. Iran banned social networking websites such as Facebook and also made a local version of video streaming site YouTube called “Mehr.” help New Delhi arrest the sharp decline in the value of the rupee versus the dollar, and benefit Tehran, which has been badly hit by unilateral sanctions marshalled by the United States. For the first time since April, the Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd. ( MRPL) has received 85,000 metric tonnes of Iranian crude. Bloomberg quoted MRPL managing director P.P. Upadhya as saying the cargo had been complying with the sanctions, there may be more space for imports from Iran,” said Mr. Chidambaram. Iran’s Fars News Agency had earlier reported that India and Iran had explored avenues to bolster their energy ties during talks, late in May, between Iran’s visiting former Oil Minister Rostam Qassemi and his Indian counterpart, M. Veerappa Moily. India complies with U.N. sanctions, but has, in line with emerging
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh (L) meets Indian
Ambassador to Tehran Shri D P Srivastava