Baku, Azerbaijan, September 1
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
Iranian president Hassan Rouhani said that the Islamic Republic can not close the world's gates to its young generation.
Rouhani made the remarks in inaugurating ceremony of the World Mosque Day conference in Tehran on Sept. 1, Iran's IRINN State TV reported. The president said that the days of banning free flow of information are over.
Protecting the young generation from the poison in the cyber space is true, Rouhani said, adding "however we cannot prevent them from internet access."
Neglecting the internet in the modern world is not logical at all, the president underlined.
He emphasized, "Today, strong use of the internet is the first necessity for entry to universities abroad."
Training an intellectual generation is impossible without access to internet, Rouhani stressed.
Early in May, Rouhani said that "the days of despotism and one-way message delivery through loudspeakers and tribunes remained in the past."
He also welcomed Iranian's use of social networking sites, urging the ministry of communications to increase Internet speed and bandwidth for better public access.
These statements triggered attacks from Iranian conservatives and their media against the president.
Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani, the head of Iran's judiciary indirectly accused Rouhani of not being aware of the threats in cyberspace.
"Those who do not agree with the poison of the Internet, do not know cyberspace," Iran's Fars news agency quoted Larijani as saying.
Popular social networks including Facebook and Twitter still remain banned in Iran despite the administration's support for freedom of access.
Filtering doesn't mean Iranians are totally cut off from the world's most popular social networks. Visitors from Iran are able to log on both Twitter and Facebook via proxies - special IP addresses, which serve as a hub through which internet requests are processed.
About four million Iranians are using Facebook, according to the culture minister, Ali Jannati who is himself a user of the website.