[QODLink]
Talk to Al Jazeera

Ali Jannati: 'Unblocking Iran's social media'

The Islamic Republic's culture minister discusses political change, media freedom and Iran's role in the region.

Last updated: 11 Jan 2014 11:07
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

There is change in the air in Tehran. Weapons inspectors are checking on nuclear installations as part of the interim nuclear agreement that Iran signed in Geneva. 

President Hassan Rouhani is making more room for freedom of the press for the publishing sector and the film industry and we are trying to create a more open atmosphere for artists.

Ali Jannati

But now, attention is also turning to the domestic side where something just as big and potentially as far reaching is happening in the fields of media freedom, social networks, the film industry and the arts.

After years of restrictions the new regime seems determined to challenge the more authoritarian policies of the past - at least that is what a new and very influential Iranian minister tells us.

Iran's new Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance, Ali Jannati, is calling for the lifting of blocks on social networks, and tells presenter Stephen Cole that he wants Facebook for everyone. 

"With the cooperation of other ministers we are now trying to create a condition where everyone in Iran has access to Facebook which is a way for people to communicate, keep in touch and exchange ideas .... I think right now many Iranians are using Facebook .... Sooner or later this restriction must be lifted," Jannati says.

This is even more remarkable considering his father is the head of the conservative Guardian Council in Iran, a body that many critics see as the barrier to more freedom and openness.

So is the new government really going to allow freedom of speech in Iran? And how will the conservative side respond? 

"Certainly there are elements inside Iran who are opposed to any kind of talks with the West, I believe that after signing of the agreement and considering the broad support that the people of Iran have given the president, these elements have retreated to a great extent," says Jannati.

Ali Jannati, Iran's new minister of culture and Islamic guidance, talks to Al Jazeera about censorship, freedom of speech, sanctions and political change in Iran.

Talk to Al Jazeera can be seen each week at the following times GMT: Saturday: 0430; Sunday: 0830, 1930; and Monday: 1430. 

 Click here for more Talk to Al Jazeera

429

Source:
Al Jazeera
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
A tight race seems likely as 814 million voters elect leaders in world's largest democracy next week.
Featured
Despite the Geneva deal, anti-government protesters in Ukraine's eastern regions don't intend to leave any time soon.
Since independence, Zimbabwe has faced food shortages, hyperinflation - and several political crises.
After a sit-in protest at Poland's parliament, lawmakers are set to raise government aid to carers of disabled youth.
A vocal minority in Ukraine's east wants to join Russia, and Kiev has so far been unable to put down the separatists.
Iran's government has shifted its take on 'brain drain' but is the change enough to reverse the flow?
join our mailing list