Hassan Rohani

Iranian President Hassan Rohani appeared in Parliament today to defend the new appointees he has selected to head three ministries, after his earlier candidates were rejected by Parliament, and he emphasized that his “government will not retreat from its path.”

Rohani presented his choices for Minister of Education, Minister of Science and Technology and Minister of Sports and Youth.

Rohani had appointed Jafar Tofighi as interim supervisor of the science ministry, and Tofighi moved quickly to remove hardliners from top positions in the universities and to announce that students who had been expelled or suspended could return to continue their university education.

Rohani was reportedly warned against presenting Tofighi as his new candidate for the position of Minister of Science. The president said in Parliament today: “Dr. Tofighi has been implementing the government’s plans for the universities” and he added that there will be no going back on the actions Tofighi has already taken.

“There may be a new person to carry out the government’s policies but the policies will not change,” Rohani stressed; “The administration approves of all the actions taken by Dr. Tofighi.”

Rohani said: “We were looking for a minister who understands that universities are universities; they are neither clubs nor youth correctional facilities.”

The Iranian president went on to emphasize the need for openness and tolerance for hearing the thoughts and opinions of others.

Roahni also advocated for the teaching of local languages alongside Farsi in schools across the country, referring to language rights in the constitution. He stressed that the education system needs a complete overhaul and he called on the government and local community organizations and the public to cooperate and share responsibility for this transformation.