Posted at: 10/14/2013 5:41 AM
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iran's president says authorities should not restrict academic freedoms and should give Iranian scholars more opportunity to take part in international conferences.
Monday's message from Hassan Rouhani is among his strongest rebukes against social limits imposed by hard-line forces in Iran.
Rouhani has previously called for the lifting of curbs on Internet access and urged police not to crack down on perceived violations of Islamic dress codes by woman.
Rouhani told Tehran University students and professors that it's "a shame" that some groups seek to limit open academic discourse. He urged authorities not to block scholars from taking part in international gatherings, calling it "scientific diplomacy."
In recent years, many professors and student activists were driven out of universities under pressure from hard-liners such as the Revolutionary Guard.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)