- The Washington Times - Monday, October 14, 2013

Iran’s new president sent a scathing message on Monday to those in his country who would seek to limit scientific inquiry and the pursuit of higher learning: Stop it.

Hassan Rouhani said to a group of Tehran University students and professors that it’s “a shame” Iranians can’t pursue all the educational opportunities they desire due to pressures from hard-liners in the nation, The Associated Press reported. He called on religious and political authorities to stop banning students from attending and speaking at gatherings of scholars on the world stage, describing it as a mission of “scientific diplomacy” that should not be so quickly disregarded.

Revolutionary Guard members have on previous occasions driven professors and students from universities for various perceived violations of Islamic law, AP said.

Mr. Rohani’s remarks are just the latest in a string of similarly minded comments he’s made.

Previously, he called on authorities to overturn limits on Internet access and on police to stop enforcing what they deem to be dress code violations by Muslim women.