Iran's Rouhani: Gov't Needs to Butt Out of People's Lives
New leader spreads moderate message
By Ruth Brown, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 3, 2013 12:29 PM CDT
Iranian President-elect Hasan Rouhani speaks in a conference in Tehran, Iran.   (AP Photo/Office of the President-elect, Mohammad Berno)

(Newser) – Iran's President-elect Hassan Rouhani has begun delivering his message of moderation, calling upon the country's leaders and clergy to stop meddling so much in the private affairs of its citizens. "A strong government does not mean a government that interferes and intervenes in all affairs. It is not a government that limits the lives of people," he said in an address on state TV, Reuters reports. Rouhani has criticized the country's Internet filtering, and chastised state broadcaster IRIB for ignoring important issues. "When IRIB airs the birth of a panda in China but nothing about unpaid workers protesting, it is obvious that the people and youth will ignore it," he reportedly tweeted.

Rouhani has also spoken out against enforcement of the country's Islamic dress code, saying he doesn't support religious police cracking down on loose clothing and hairstyles—though he didn't go so far as to say the dress code should end, reports the Guardian. "If a woman or a man does not comply with our rules for clothing, his or her virtue should not come under question," he told a magazine. "In my view, many women in our society who do not respect our hijab laws are virtuous. Our emphasis should be on the virtue." He also says he opposes the segregation of men and women, criticizing politicians who want to ban women from entering soccer stadiums alongside men.

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Showing 3 of 29 comments
Jul 4, 2013 11:14 AM CDT
Religious fundamentalism is a threat to freedom, no matter whether it is Christian, Jewish or Muslim. Iran should be an object lesson for those who would have us live in a theocracy.
Jul 4, 2013 10:29 AM CDT
When listening to a Muslim, it's not what's coming out of his mouth, it's what's on his heart you have to figure out. Al Takeyya
Jul 3, 2013 8:40 PM CDT
Are you listening Oblama ??? "Government needs to butt out of people's lives".... NOT become MORE intrusive!