He urged the publishers to shrug off Western claims about restrictions on freedom of speech in the country, IRNA reported.
“Don't be afraid of those who say that Westerners have ultimate freedom in saying the truth and that such freedom is restricted here. These are the enemy’s efforts to instill such ideas in us and others,” said Ayatollah Khamenei.
“The thing is that there are many restrictions there, but they cunningly show that there isn’t such a thing over there, however, restriction is all there,” he added.
Paper prices have gone up drastically during past months, making the publishers cut down on their quality and increase prices of the titles. As a result, the visitors’ ability to buy books has sharply decreased.
The Leader touched on the issue, urging culture and industry ministers to jointly address the issue. “The paper issue needs to be resolved. Culture and industry ministers must sit and resolve it,” he stressed.
During the 10-day book fair, which will end on May 4, a total number of 2,400 Iranian publishers are displaying 300,000 book titles, while about 800 foreign publishers will showcase 137,000 titles of their latest publications.
This year's fair is aimed at strengthening the publishing industry, boosting international ties and improving cultural diplomacy in the presence of China as the guest of honor.
Chinese delegation will also host more than 50 cultural exchange activities for publishers and scholars of the two countries.
Nearly 95 publishers from across China will display 15,000 book titles of diversified themes during the book fair.
The TIBF is annually held as a social and cultural phenomenon with book displays, panel discussions and publishing deals.