0855 GMT January 19, 2019
The media are promoting greater transparency regarding the performance of the government, which has been among the strategic approaches of the government, said the president’s chief of staff.
The media are intermediaries between the Iranian people and the government, Mahmoud Vaezi added in an address to the staff of Iran Cultural and Press Institute (ICPI) on Wednesday during a visit to the institute on the occasion of Iran’s National Reporter’s Day.
Congratulating the ICPI’s staff on the occasion, he stressed, “If we believe that Iran’s Islamic establishment is also a republic, we are required to know that media is an inseparable part of this belief.”
Promotion of greater transparency has been among the main policies of Rouhani’s administrations over the past five years, Vaezi said, adding that when the issues of promoting greater transparency and having free access are addressed, inevitably the topic of the media is also raised as the media act as a bridge linking people with the government and officials.
Stressing that a high status is required to be attached to the media, Vaezi said, “Compliments have always been paid to [Iranian] reporters. Nevertheless, the 11th and 12th administrations have gone beyond those compliments and have seriously believed in the media.
“We should believe that the situation in the world has changed. Since 40 years ago, the circumstances in our country have also undergone changes. The people, themselves, now decide their destiny.”
It is no longer the period when a government or ruler was deemed the sole decision-maker, he said, adding today, state officials should comply with people’s demands and make their decisions based on public demands.
Vaezi noted that achieving this requires strong media.
Today, it is impossible to set up media monopoly in a country and dictate the people, through it, what they should want, he added.
“Nowadays, monopolizing fails to be an effective strategy. We can flourish only through a healthy competition.”
Vaezi said President Hassan Rouhani’s administration believes in greater transparency and free media.
“We are paying the price of this belief of ours. Today, the government has created an atmosphere in which those who believe in media monopoly cannot easily carry out their intentions.”
He added he knew what he was doing during his four-year term in office as Iran’s minister of information and communications technology.
“When the bandwidth is increased 15 times and free access to high-speed internet is provided to close to 50 million people, it means that nothing can, any longer, be hidden from the people and nothing will remain hidden. We seek to give people access to correct information, not any data. We are required to attempt to be able to distinguish between correct and incorrect information.”
Commenting on the new package of policies – expected to help strengthen Iran’s national currency (the rial) which has lost nearly half of its value against the US dollar since March 2018 – unveiled by the Iranian government and the Central Bank of Iran, he said in addition to staples and drugs, pulp and paper have also been approved in this package to be imported using the dollar sold at the official exchange rate (42,000 rials).
“This is aimed at preventing any rise in the price of books and print media.”
Vaezi described the country’s present condition as critical, saying most of the problems currently besetting Iran have been caused due to the psychological war waged by the triangle of US, Israel and Saudi Arabia against Tehran.
Nevertheless, the Iranian government is conducting its activities amid this psychological warfare waged against the country.
Prior to Vaezi, addressing the same gathering, Managing Director of Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) Zia Hashemi said the government’s discourse reflects the people’s demands and has been approved strongly by them. That is why in Iran newspaper and its affiliated papers, we defend this discourse, which is the discourse of the majority of the Iranian people.