PayvandNews – President Rouhani while noting the various progress his govt. has made in economic and foreign policy arenas, urged finding solutions to raise Iranian youth’s hope for the future of the country.
cartoon by Keyvan Varessi, Iranian daily Ghanoon
President Hassan Rouhani attended an open Parliament’s session on Tuesday where MPs would assess the qualifications and then vote on three candidates proposed by his administration to head the ministries of Sports and Youth Affairs, Culture and Islamic Guidance, and Education.
Addressing the MPs, Rouhani maintained that his administration has taken the right path in regard to the economic situation and the country’s foreign relations’ policy based on constructive interaction with the world, culminated in the signing of the nuclear deal last July that saw the removal of many anti-Iranian sanctions and the creation of ample opportunities for expanding economic ties with the world.
“To those who criticize the JCPOA for having failed to do anything for the country, I shall say that JCPOA has presented Iran with the right to choose freely for its exports, imports, interactions with the world, selecting clients and the type of goods,” President Rouhani said in praise of the nuclear deal that came into effect during his administration.
“Every day we are making further progress in our economic and foreign relations, and soon we will even make those countries known in the course of history as utterly untrustworthy to abide by their commitments under the nuclear deal,” Rouhani promised.
The President went on to add, however, that despite all the progress, the increasing rate of depression among the Iranian youth is alarming; “Who should treat this depression?,” Rouhani asked, “doctors and psychiatrists? But before the Health Ministry comes into action, it is the responsibility of the ministries of Sports and Youth Affairs, Culture and Education to raise hope among the younger generation for the future of our country.”
“Despair is prevailing in the society because some media outlets irresponsibly pump frustration and disappointment in the younger generation,” he said.
“Iran has the most potential among all other countries for attracting foreign investment,” Rouhani stressed. “If we bring our discourse and actions together in a unified manner, you will see that this attraction will soar.”
The President then went on to touch upon cyberspace as an undeniable reality for the country and the world, saying the cyberspace could be utilized to benefit the Iranian society; “fighting against social networks that are nothing but a tool is futile,” Rouhani said. “The tools are not to blame, we are to blame for having failed to create beneficial content that could attract Iranian Internet users.”
Rouhani highlighted the role of culture in advancing economy, saying “we need to make serious investment in the field of culture, because it is culture that is in the forefront of fighting corruption.”
The President then allocated the rest of his speech time to defend his proposed candidates, including Masoud Soltanifar, Reza Salehi-Amiri, and Fakhroddin Ahmadi Danesh-Ashtiani as his candidates to head the three ministries of Sports and Youth Affairs, Culture and Islamic Guidance, and Education respectively.
Rouhani described Salehi-Amiri, who currently heads the National Library and Archives Organization of Iran, as a ‘cultural sociologist’ who has a firm grasp on cultural diversity in the country, and who is aware of the fact that the issues of the world of culture must be dealt with free popular activities, and by attracting elites, academics, artists, writers and university professors.
“Cultural issues must be followed up with as much sensitivity as the Leader of Islamic Revolution demands,” Rouhani stressed.
In defense of Soltanifar, the current head of the Cultural Heritage, Handcrafts and Tourism Organization, Rouhani described him has an activist in political, social and sports fields, adding “he has made good progress in tourism and cultural heritage department during the past three years, and I am certain that he will do just as efficiently in the Ministry of Sports.”
Rouhani then turned to the Ministry of Education as the most important cultural institute in Iran, saying “Dr. Danesh Ashtiani holds prestigious degrees from top-tier universities in the world and has a good record as a defender of Iran’s sovereignty during the Imposed War.”
Addressing certain issues raised by a number of MPs in regard to Danesh Ashtani’s background, Rouhani assured that the candidate has not been a member of any political party or movement for years, and is now fully focused on the matters of education.
The President then expressed hope that the Parliament would vote in favor of his proposed candidates for the three ministries.