Rouhani voices concern for “public order” in New Year’s speech

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani claims that the Iranian regime is attentive to the public’s criticism and keen to resolve the people’s problems so long as the people accept the regime’s edicts. In a speech delivered on Sunday March 18 on the sidelines of the last meeting of the Council of Ministers prior to the Iranian New Year break, President Rouhani said that the regime which has arrested thousands of protesters, with many tortured or executed for participating in recent demonstrations, accepts criticism and will work “hand in hand” with the people to improve society if the people obey the regime.

In this excerpt from the speech, Rouhani says, “The people adroitly created the necessary division to distinguish the difference between protesting and rioting. And the government has more explicitly than ever recognized the people’s protest. But, at the same time, sabotage of public property, rioting, disorderliness and breaking the law is not acceptable to the government. And the people quite clearly demonstrated this gap in their practice and their million protests. We accept criticism. We accept dissent as there are problems that must be expressed. And these problems should be resolved, and all of us should unite hand-in-hand, but all of us must obey all the laws. We all must observe public property. We must all respect public order. Families should not be affected and worried and be fearful [an oblique reference to the families of detained protesters worrying about their loved ones and their own risk of arrest].

Workplaces and business should not be closed. At the same time, our ears should be hearing the words of the people. These people’s words do not have a special sound frequency wave that their voices of protest should be merely directed to the executive branch[his government administration]; the voice of the people’s protest has many frequencies and goes out to everyone [all the regime entities]. At present, however, some ‘jam’ broadcasts and don’t want to hear the voice of the people’s protests, then they are supposed to know the results, but all of us should listen; today is not the time for ‘radio-jamming’. The frequencies should be carefully considered. This means that we should hear the voice of people.”