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December 11, 2003President mentions weblogs! Asked by Ahmed Reda of Daily Summit who controls internet censorship in Iran, Mr Khatami replied:
"I think there are hardly any countries in the developing world, or in Islamic countries, where you have such expanded ICT networks and ICT use. Of the weblogs that are created and generated - after those in English and French, we are number three.
"There are a lot of internet connections in Iran. All countries have certain reservations about the internet, but they are not about freedom of expression. They are only porn and immoral websites. Even political websites that are openly opposed to the Iranian government, and all other educational and scientific sites, are available to the Iranian people. But the expansion of digital expression should not harm the culture or identity of nations. We need new conventions, while allowing fair use of the internet.
"Of countries that have been very sensitive to the harm these communications can cause, we can use France, as an example. Its example shows we should not sacrifice the great benefit of these communications, but we should pay attention to the harms they can cause. The internet should not harm the fundamental freedoms of people. Within the framework, of law, we believe in Iran we have imposed the minimum restrictions. In other countries there are broader restrictions."