Iranian President Hassan Rohani responded to the attacks against him by the Tehran and Mashhad Friday Mass Imams, saying “Some are constantly concerned with people’s religion and the judgement day without expert knowledge of either.”
He stressed that “a religious government” is something to be commended but not a “religion dictated by the government.”
“the people cannot be forced into heaven with lashes.”
One day after Iran’s Supreme Leader denounced gender equality as a Western cliche, Iranian President Hassan Rohani stressed the need for gender equality in all strata of the country, adding “the fear of women’s presence and their excellence” should not be attributed to Islam and religion.
“Those who fear the presence and excellence of women and have such beliefs should not attribute these ideas to Islam, the religion or the Quran,” Rohani said.
In an echo of Ayatollah Khamenei’s concern that working outside the house can distract women from paying attention to their families, Rohani said: “A father that enters society does not forget his paternal responsibilities, nor does a mother give up her maternal responsibilities once she enters society.”
The Iranian president stressed the need for “equal opportunities, equal immunity and equal social rights” and added: “I confess that there are still plenty of shortcomings in women’s rights and gender issues in the country.”
Hassan Rohani’s speech marked Iranian Women’s Day, which is celebrated on the birthday of Fatemeh, the daughter of Muslim Prophet Mohammad.
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“Iran’s nuclear bomb is a product of Israel’s propaganda. Since 1992, Netanyahu and current Israeli President Shimon Peres have repeatedly claimed that Iran will build a nuclear weapon over the next few years….Netanyahu is now declaring that if Iran possesses 250kg of uranium enriched at 20 percent, Israel will bomb its nuclear sites. This is while Israel possesses up to 200 nuclear warheads and is not a signatory of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)…Barak and Netanyahu were determined to attack Iran in 2010, but were thwarted by the military and intelligence establishments within Israel…To justify military aggression against Iran – who unlike Israel, has not attacked another country for almost 300 years – Netanyahu constantly likens Iran to Nazi Germany…”
Prominent Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh has been released two years into her six year prison sentence, according to her husband. At least ten more political prisoners have also been reportedly set free.
“It’s not a temporary release, it’s freedom. They put her in a car and dropped her off at the house,” Sotoudeh’s husband Reza Khandan told Reuters from the couple’s home in Tehran.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who has replaced Mohamed Ahmadinejad as president after winning the election in June, promised to release political prisoners and to loosen social controls in the Islamic Republic during his election campaign.