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December 11, 2003

Ask the Iranian Government. Our post about Iranian censorship on the internet has created lots of discussion and comment. Later on Thursday in Geneva, Iran's President Mr Mohammad Khatami is scheduled to give a news conference.

We'll be there on the front row so please, use the comments box and send us the questions YOU would like us to put to him.

Cara Swift @ December 11, 2003 11:49 AM | TrackBack

Comments (64)
please ask president khatami :

you won 2 elections by youth generation votes , you promised a lot and done a few , you never stood against the hardliners and conservatives ,
which one is the priority for you ? people who voted for you and wanting the reform or saving the regime ?
reza @ December 11, 2003 12:54 PM
Please ask him who is responsible for censorship in Iran? The answer would be Persian Telecom. Then ask him is it the freedom of speech that you promised when you were running for election or was it just another fake to show a good face of Islam and the regime?
Censoring somebody's ideas is worse than killing him. Why do you do it?
Tell him for us (Persian folks) that we want to be free.
Hamed @ December 11, 2003 01:08 PM
mr.khatami, we all remember your mottos about freedom of thoughts and speech when you were on your early years of presidentship. have you forgot them?
or maybe filtering news websites, discussion websites about religion and politics are out of that freedom, yes?
you're trying these days to hold you rule iran by blocking voices you don't like them.
your ITC administer forces ISPs to block websites and weblogs which are the most popular. why? just for they're writing their criticism on the internet to aware others!
Saeed @ December 11, 2003 01:09 PM
please ask Mr Khatami: What did you mean by Iran for all Iranians when you do not have any one without hair on his face in your government?
agha @ December 11, 2003 01:19 PM
Two questions for President Khatami:

1. There are confirmed reports that your government has censorsed (or as they put it, filtered) several Iranian news websites and weblogs, with no sexual content. Your minister of telecommunication, Mr. Motamedi, has recently said that they only filter websites that are in a blacklist. Is that true? Do you approve filtering political websites that critisize the regime?

2. Have you read the weblog of your deputy, Mr. Abtahi? What about other Persian weblogs? What do you think about Persian weblogs in general?
Mohammad @ December 11, 2003 01:23 PM
Dear Khatami!
I love you and respect you.
Dont think it is the time for doing something?
you must tell everythings to people about your limitation in power,Showra ye Negahban and other
Please Hurry.And be honest!!!
Hasan @ December 11, 2003 01:24 PM
please ask him,why most of the serious and important jobs in iran must do by mullas?
Are they can do work better than others?
and another question:
If there is islamic regime in Iran why we see lots of streetwalkers and thiefs?Isn't this show that you can't make an islamic country?
Cyrus the Great @ December 11, 2003 01:32 PM
Question for Mr. Motamedi, Minister of Telecom:

You've talked about a blacklist in your last press confrence. Why don't you publicize this blacklist so we can file for complains if our website is filtered by mistake? How can we ever know that without having that list?
Mohammad @ December 11, 2003 01:39 PM
Please ask president Khatami:

Are not you embarrassed of despising all those 20 millions who elected you?

Masoud @ December 11, 2003 01:53 PM
mr.president always says freedom of speech is a gift of god and no one in any position shouldnt try to restrict this kind of islamic republic of iran's constitution there's a chapter about freedom of speech but now ist easily forgotten.many of this islamic constitution is now forgotten,they even cant stand their own made whats this differences in his belief and in his doings?is he really defending the freedom of speech?is he believer to free flaw of information on net?and why in the comittee filtering the net,there is just one person from his government and the rest are hardliners? we have thousands of why's to ask.
we all know his problems,but what we ask is not to cover things that exist for those hardliners who are the real rulers.
thank you.
Journale @ December 11, 2003 01:57 PM
Please ask him, filtering the websites that criticize your regime is part of the freedom you promised to the people who voted you, yes?
Irani @ December 11, 2003 02:07 PM
Dear Mr. President,

In the beginning of your term, you promised to give a speech to all the people in the country regularly, you promised to have a transparent government and not to hide things from people the way it used to be. But you fulfilled your promise only ONCE, you have not spoken to the nation and have not explained many things for the people in the way they expect you to do. What happened to you responsibilities about keeping the people informed?
Nima Pirasteh @ December 11, 2003 02:17 PM
Our diarists goes into cage,
Our Internet accesses are under censorship,
Our accesses to world's media are banned,
The Goverment's TV and Radio spread false news,
Rad Danesh @ December 11, 2003 02:21 PM
Mr Khatami:

Have you ever read your daugter's (Leila) weblog?
nazanin @ December 11, 2003 02:27 PM
mr. khatami , what happend to free speech in iran? you know i feel bad to write my email address or my URL becouse i am worry about next reaction , i am really sorry for my people . you owe to iranian vote!
donya @ December 11, 2003 02:35 PM
Mr president..
How a Nation can say to their government..they don't like that government...

bahram @ December 11, 2003 03:45 PM
Does anyone have anymore information about Leila's weblog mentionned above? What does it contain? Does she post openly about being the President's daughter?
David Steven @ December 11, 2003 03:48 PM
Mr President, Do you accept that according to the Iranian constitution you don’t have adequate authority to actually be questionable about the Irans' affairs including censorship and huge crackdown on papers, because the main influence and power is given to the supreme leader, the unelected guardian council and the independent Justice system that are strongly against reforms in anyhow? Moreover, many thinks that you haven’t, even, used your limited power to fight hard enough in order to tackle the actions of anti reform forces, how do you think about that?

Aziz @ December 11, 2003 03:56 PM
are you beliving human rights in internet ?
mehri @ December 11, 2003 03:58 PM
Mr President, Do you accept that according to the Iranian constitution you don’t have adequate authority to actually be questionable about the Iranian affairs including censorship and huge crackdown on papers, because the main influence and power is given to the supreme leader, the unelected guardian council and the independent Justice system that are strongly against reforms in anyhow? Moreover, many thinks that you haven’t, even, used your limited power to fight hard enough in order to tackle the actions of anti reform forces, how do you think about that?
aziz @ December 11, 2003 03:58 PM
whay we cant have internet high speed ?
why you filter sites and blog ?

dddd @ December 11, 2003 04:04 PM
One question?
Mr. President:
Will you pledge today to assure your citizens unrestricted access to the Internet?
Yes or no.
(There is no middleground, after all.)
- jeff
Jeff Jarvis @ December 11, 2003 04:07 PM
Dear President

Most of us are the people – the young generation - who voted you because believed in you. I personally know that you do not have power on the whole system, and you do your best inside your power, but Mr. President, Don’t you think that there are some limit for being silence? What are we supposed to lose more? If supposedly you talk more clear, more informative about your oppositions, about what your previous voter want to hear, … Isn’t is that in the worst case , Iran will be like a pool of blood? But how about now… Do you think the situation is not getting worse? … I think you need to have more and more contact with real people – young generation. As I read here, your daughter is writing a blog, your vice president in the office is writing a blog. Even if you are not continuing having regularly lecture for students, you MUST read the real needs and thoughts of young generations who are thinking with completely different harmony than they were even in 3 years ago.

Kamran, immigrant to US

Kamran @ December 11, 2003 04:24 PM
Please ask him

what do U reply to a iranian 15years old boy that give U a vote?
Majid @ December 11, 2003 04:27 PM
Hi....Please leave Mr President alone. He can do nothing about iran's new condition. He has no force on iranian security force, militiary forces Specially SEPAH PASDARAN,...He dare not to do enough in dangerous conidition. While it's an ordinary thing to kill opposition people, journalist, university activitists &... in iran why are you interested in internet censorship?
Only ask Mr. president what's your place and grade in Iran's politic?
mehrdad @ December 11, 2003 04:36 PM
please ask,

Mr.khatami! You talk about talking between civilizations. but why the people who are living in Iran can't talk about the leader?
why every mounth we hear about killing young people in Kurdistan by Iranian arms( For example in Sardasht)
You know the Iranian goverment in past time did a lot of teror in other countries(Mikonos resturant and ....).what's your idea about teror in past time and kill the autors in 6 years ago and start it again from one mounts ago.
What did you do for low prohibition execution.
Why Iranan goverment was angry when the Shirin Ebadi win the Noble prize.
HOZAN @ December 11, 2003 04:41 PM
Mr Khatami,
please be honest to answer this question. Have you been changed since you became the president? Did power changed you?
Ali @ December 11, 2003 04:43 PM
Small minds in power fear the people and make themselves the targets of revolution. Big minds embrace ideas and can accomodate disagreement. It is obvious to this American that there is a group in Iran who needs to be heard, if you are to grow as a nation.
John Denton @ December 11, 2003 04:45 PM
What have you done for thousands of political prisoners and when do you think those like Ahmad Batebi will be freed?
Can I ask that you return me my vote to you?
Me @ December 11, 2003 04:58 PM
most of the voters who elected you, are diappointed with you.we think you are not are against freedom, either.
just at firs you had a good appearence and your speech was nice. but all of your speechs were
tricks to gather the people's votes.
you are a lier.i hate you!
fataneh @ December 11, 2003 05:02 PM
most of the voters who elected you, are diappointed with you.we think you are not are against freedom, either.
just at firs you had a good appearence and your speech was nice. but all of your speechs were
tricks to gather the people's votes.
you are a lier.i hate you!
fataneh @ December 11, 2003 05:02 PM
Ask him that we can use everythings as a bad things and we can use it for good things . so this can be a reason to filter all the internet ?! or you have to educate using internet for good things ?! how much do you work with the internet and how much the goverment men knew about the internet ?!
so how day make rules for somethings that they don't use them so much ?!
Hamid Hashemi @ December 11, 2003 05:08 PM
What is his opinion about the execution of more than 10000 prisoners in 1988? Political prisoners who were sentenced to 1-7 years of prison and were executed without a trial.
lailahatami @ December 11, 2003 05:17 PM
Mr President!

What has happened to all those inspiring promises you made to the people of Iran at your second election campaign? Jails are full of political prisoners who are being arrested because of advocating your fake pledges of the freedom of press. It has been not left actually even a free newspaper because all of them are banned or are afraid. Have you ever realised that you have not kept even the simplest one of your promises? Have you ever realised that now people of Iran know that you didn't meant to keep them and all of them were just to promise us moon? So why did you candidate yourself in the second election? You were a lier or did you underestimate your rivals?
Hamid @ December 11, 2003 05:20 PM
dear president khatami
why you are apposit to refrandom if you think you can win it.

farzad @ December 11, 2003 05:29 PM
ask him, Why you always have a explanation about every wrong thing that happened during your government, and simply closed your eyes about many many important things ,
afte these years i can say that you are responsible for the pressure,not for the people who voted you
Amir @ December 11, 2003 05:30 PM
Dear Mr. President

The foundations that are lead by the supreme leader have millions od dollars profit every year. Their capital and money belong to Iranians. 1.However, they send a significant part of their profits to Palestine, and invest in other countries. Who controls their acts? Isn't there somone that tell them more than 70% of Iranians live below poverty line. Prostitution and unemployment rates are very high.Many youths are addicted to drugs and can't get married, while you spend huge amount of your capital, which belongs to Iranians, in foreign countries. What's your answer?

2.I am the one, who voted you. You always speak beautifully and use pretty words. You say beautiful words about democracy and freedom for the whole world's people, but you forget that in your own country people don't have any freedom and majority of them don't have enough income, while many Mullah's an their sons own many industries and invest in other countries.
Ramin @ December 11, 2003 05:39 PM
mr khatami
how do you do
1-what is your opinion about Iran's economic condition in future?
2-would you candidate yourself for next presidential election if we came back 6 years ago at present?

javad @ December 11, 2003 06:04 PM
Mr President

When do you think is the time to stand against the hardliners and religious autocrats? When do you think is time to ask the "new generation" whether or not they want Islamic Republic at all? 75% of the population is now under 25 years old. They have not been involved in '79 Islamic revolution and their values is completely different from their fathers. They want freedom. They want respect. They want security. They want democracy. This may be the chance for Iran to move towards democracy using reforms. The youth may not choose peaceful ways to ask what they want next time. Please open your eyes.
Sepehr @ December 11, 2003 06:12 PM
ask him:
everybody knows you disapointed all of your supporters and voters and you are not with us any more. don't you think whatever you done is enough and you can stop disapointing people?
last year a weblogger arested in IRAN by YOUR governors. explain it please, if blogging is dangerus everybody should know that. explain why did you arest a blogger and demand Persianblog to censor and suspend weblogs which are againt's your rules, it's not aout porn! the weblogs and blogers you close and arest are not pornographers. they are political and social weblogs. explain it in front of an international microphon. you don'y explain it in iran and nobody dare to ask it, but here i am , telling you: you are responsible for arested weblogers and closed websites and weblogs and Isps.
DisapointedFan @ December 11, 2003 06:17 PM
please ask him did Islam and Mohammad believe that you must force people to go to heaven?if the answer is "NO" ask him why do you censor the opposition and unbelievers sounds and ideas in every media especialy on the NET.then please ask him do you believe that people have intelligense and can find and distinguish what is right and what is wrong?
faraz @ December 11, 2003 06:29 PM
Houman @ December 11, 2003 06:35 PM
I would like to ask from president Khatami that It is clear that America and Isareil both are real enemi of Iran and They do not want Iran become a one of development Country why Iran is not trying faster to acheive new Techneology sprecially Noucleour Technology? Why Iran has to stop the reachivement of Uraneum but no force against Israeil?

Good luck


Parviz @ December 11, 2003 06:48 PM
Mr President Khatami
Do you really beleive in open society? If yes why your government explicitly sensors Internet? Why don't you really defend press freedom in Iran?
If you beleive in Human Rights why didn't you welcome Shirin Ebadi's reward?
Rouhollah @ December 11, 2003 06:55 PM
Please ask him
Iran is the one of the best democratic country in middle east to copare with others but in west media and ..... are against Iran Why? Why nobody ask about human right from others countries? Why Iranian goverment do not act aginst some medeia specially BBC allways lie aginst iran. They show and tell but is not true at all. And Iranian Embassy in Uk is not asking why they are lying aginst Iran. Is there any law in Wold or UN abut TV that they show something about a country but it is not true. Specially channel4 in UK show a program about Iran really was big lie but no react from Iran or Iranian Embassy in UK.

Nassrin @ December 11, 2003 07:08 PM
I will ask my question very explicit and expect an explicit answer from you (not like other times when you answer your questions, not ours!)
What is the position and opinion of govenment (You and your cabinet) against the censorship of internet in Iran. Dont you consider it a simple violation of the right of iranian people to choose and use the information freely and without political restrictions.
Do you think those 21 million people who had voted you, agree on such censorship? Dont you consider it against your promises? Is it also a force of hardliners (like all other of your cabinet problems) or it is simply what an islamic democracy give to its people?
Tohid A. @ December 11, 2003 07:47 PM
please ask khatami do you fear radiofarda?
do you fear a weblog with a maximum of 4000 reader?
do you fear iranians learn pornography from

ali @ December 11, 2003 08:54 PM
Most important issue that currently is on top priority is to force Iranian government to clearly announce whether there is an official black list for blocking and censorship of many persian web sites or not , they claim that there is a such list but many analysts beleive that they lie and they try to hide their activities against freedom of speech in cyberspace , so i think first step is to forcing Iranian government to clear their claims

Behrooz @ December 11, 2003 09:17 PM
How do you recommend as the next President of Iran amoung "2nd Khordad Front". Do you think any of your aids has the chance? Otherwise, what about Conservative candidates? Do you think Mr. H.E. Abtahi has a chance?
Kamran @ December 11, 2003 11:15 PM
We asked both the President of Iran and the Minister of Information and Communication Technologies some of your questions. Take a look
Cara Swift @ December 11, 2003 11:23 PM
Mr. President, I have two questions? > First, is the point by staying enemy to the US? Tha damage has done by that has been greater than the benefits never achieved? all super-powers need enemies to convince thier people that there is bad guys out there? what is this useless opposition against west, what have you achieved is showing Iranian and generally all muslims as non-logical people. >> Second, the public opinion in the West, is so negative towards Iranian ( I live in the West, I know what exactly is), Why not using legal tools like sueing Media in the west (esp. US and Europe) for intoxicating public opinion by misusing news or creating discriminatory atmosphere agains your own people(inside or outside of the country), Why no one in any Islamic country sues CNN, Fox News, or even Hollywood directors for brainwashing publics?
Highlander @ December 12, 2003 01:40 AM
Is there anyway that a person like Ayatullah Khameneyei be accused of anything and asked in Court about any crime? Or is it just the case of
And is it so for other important people in IRAN?
Like former information( Inteligence) ministry
ALI FALAHIYAN, or Mohsen Rafigh Doust?
Shahriar @ December 12, 2003 04:49 AM
when you want allow Bahai s to talk about their opinion freely ?
payam @ December 12, 2003 08:00 AM
when you want allow Bahai s to talk about their opinion freely ?
payam @ December 12, 2003 08:01 AM
my Question is Why the worth Iranian sexy sites like that is the most visited page in iran is not filter but poltic & cultural sites liky & ... are filtered? khatami says that we close sites only for sexy content but it is lie. they prefer iranian youts visit sexy sites rather than poltical sites & weblogs.

saeed Madarshahi @ December 12, 2003 12:45 PM
Dear Mr President

Why can't we use IT (information technology) like other developed countries? Why we have to pay a lot for internet access but get a poor quality?

Amin @ December 12, 2003 09:13 PM
Dear Mr President

Why can't we use IT (information technology) like other developed countries? Why we have to pay a lot for internet access but get a poor quality?

Amin @ December 12, 2003 09:16 PM
I want to ask prrsident khatami "how do you expect that there must not any limitation about accessing information but in his country there are many limitation for accessing simple information?
kourosh @ December 13, 2003 09:00 AM
salam mikhastam beporsam aya sohbat kardan ba jense mokhalef dar daneshgah gonaheeeee?
s @ December 17, 2003 01:30 PM
Mr President,
The US didn't become powerful overnight. But,
If IRAN had the system in place that the US does then it would be undoubtedly the most powerful arab nation on the planet. As long as the Government continues to do the same as it always has, IRAN will also remain the same...just another struggling 3rd world country. At least in the US you can have an opinion without being certainly can't disagree in IRAN. That's why your country & your people will continue to suffer as just another 3rd world country.
keefer @ December 25, 2003 01:20 AM
Dear Mr. President,

I do not know how to convay my sadness at the loss of somuch life in your peoples country. No matter what you may think of me and America, we are all humans made from the same flesh and bone all worshiping the same in a different way.

Death in this way is very hurtful to me, I have only had children for 6 years and because of them the Iranian peoples loss is felt a bit deeper.

What will happen to all of those little babies and children who no longer have parrents. My stomach hurts very much to think of them. I know that adult citizens lost children and family members but it is not the same.

I know you can not allow the people in the country that you hope to improve, read my electronic mail.

Please tell the people in Iran, even though I do not agree with its govenment humanitarian policy that does not mean I wish for bad things to happen for them.

One day all of this fighting over capitalization and greed will be over, I will not be on the planet any more when that happens but I would like to think that my grandchildren will someday be welcome in your country.

Best intentions meant,

Michael A. Perkins Jr
European American
michael Perkins @ December 31, 2003 10:37 PM
I & all of the Iranian LOVE you .
mahdi @ January 19, 2004 03:22 AM
all these story i had read have you got any feels for them as will ?
nataie @ February 26, 2004 05:23 PM
I have no illusions! A President who has managed to work with a Government, voice its policies and practice its rules for two terms, can not by any logical assumption be different with the government he represented. The only difference between him and most of the rest is his beautiful and gentle smile and his philosophical words. I personally believe without Katami the present Government would not have survived for so long. He needs to be cherished and adorned for his illusive performance.
Mehri @ March 13, 2004 10:50 PM

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