Members of the Academy of Persian Language & Literature have lashed out against recent statements from the Rohani administration that encourage the teaching of local languages in public elementary schools around the country.

The Mehr News Agency reports that Gholamali Haddad Adel, the head of the academy, said: “The Persian Language is the standard. Of course, there are other languages and they have their own place, but what has to be taught is the Persian language.”

Fathollah Mojtabayi, another academy member, claimed attempts to teach local languages are merely a way of keeping these regions from getting ahead. He insinuated there is a conspiracy against the country’s ethnic regions.

Ali Younesi, President Hassan Rohani’s aide on ethnic and religious minority affairs, announced that teaching local languages in schools is on the government’s agenda.