Iranian President Hassan Rohani told a meeting of security force commanders on Saturday that the police must enforce the law and not Islam.

Hassan Rohani

Hassan Rohani

“The police are not responsible for executing Islam, they are charged with the execution of the law, and any other expectation would create confusion and cause problems for the people.”

In a speech he gave on April 25, Rohani said: “Police can only enter into a place primarily where it has legal authorization, secondly where it has a clear and transparent warrant.”
He stressed that all Iranians “are equal under the law and the law must be enforced with accuracy.”

The Iranian president said the prime cause of insecurity is “poverty and unemployment” and what needs to be eliminated in society are “poverty and corruption”. He criticized the current practice of highlighting “a number of minor offshoots of Islam” as the basis of do’s and don’ts for society.

Rohani has tried to honour his promises to Iranians to offer greater social liberties in their public and private lives; however, hardliners in the Islamic Republic have pushed in the opposite direction in reaction to the president’s efforts.