Narrator: Ali Motaheri and criticizing lack of freedom of speech. About 10 days ago:
Ali Motaheri: “No. Mr. Larijani’s words were not true. He said that we have freedom of speech… he said that we have freedom of speech to a reasonable and logical extent. But it is not actually so. We have created certain artificial red lines and media and press do not dare to approach them. That by itself shows that we do not have reasonable and logical freedom of speech.”(35” seconds)
Narrator: It was just yesterday that the second person on Tehran’s list of representatives and parliament’s deputy speaker could not give his speech in Mashhad. At the same time, Reformist Advisory Council Office in Razavi Khorasan Province which was holding this ceremony was sealed by the order of prosecutor’s office.
Mr. Motaheri’s lawyer has filed a complaint against the prosecutor’s office, but Mr. Motaheri himself does not know who to file a complaint against. It was mentioned in the news that according to the letter which he has received, Mashhad prosecutor’s office had ordered the cancellation of the speech. Motaheri has written a letter Hassan Rouhani, asking a few questions. He asks, “Please make it clear who the ruler if Razavi Province is: the governor, the prosecutor, or Friday prayer leader? Are the police following the governor’s orders or the prosecutor’s? And, basically, why does the prosecutor’s office interfere in such issues?”
Narrator: In Ali Motaheri’s letter, it is said that Razavi Khorasan province is suffering from despotism, and Iran’s president is asked to do something to save this province. Hassan Rouhani, in response to Ali Motaheri’s letter, called his narrative shocking. Rouhani has said that what has happened in Mashhad is very shameful. President asks, “Have some individuals penetrated into sensitive centers of this province– those who think that with closing people’s mouths and blocking doors to lecture halls, they can also block the country’s path to progress and development as desired by people and the revolution’s leader? Those who want to open the doors to extremism and polarization of the society?”
Narrator: The office of Friday prayer leader who is accused in this case had previously refuted any relationship with this incident. Office of Friday prayer leader, Alamolhoda, has written that they have the right to file complaint against anyone who slanders them. And in case this person does nothing to compensate for disturbing people’s minds, they themselves will take action.
Narrator: A problem called Razavi Khorasan Province is created for the government. Previously cancelling concerts created controversy—one of the reasons that, according to reports, made Culture and Guidance Minister to resign.
Alamolhoda: “We just say that no forbidden actions should take place in this city [Mashhad] out of respect for Imam Reza. This is all we have said from the beginning.”
Narrator: And now cancelling speeches has become problematic. Parliament representatives have threatened to impeach the Interior Minister.
Alamolhoda: “They take a sentence from me and cut it here and there. And make a special sentence.”