Seyyed Ali Taheri

The spokesman for Iranian Parliament’s cultural commission has stressed the need for censorship and expressed concern regarding activities of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance in the past year.

Seyyed Ali Taheri said in an interview with the Fars News Agency on the sidelines of the Tehran Book Fair that the Ministry of  Culture’s actions in the past year show a number of weaknesses and he expressed concern about certain liberal policies in the cultural sphere of the country in the past year.

He said: “The Ministry of Culture must be more active in preserving religious values.”

He added that censorship is the law of the country, and the executive branch has to comply with the law.

At the opening of the Tehran Book Fair, President Hassan Rohani expressed the opposite views, saying censorship is not a policy of his administration.

Taheri expressed concern regarding these statements by the president and called for their retraction.

The need for censorship was also recently echoed by Islamic Republic hardliners Ahmad Jannati, the head of the Guardian Council, and Gholamali Haddad Adel, an Iranian MP and head of the Academy of Persian Language and Literature.