In a meeting with Reformist journalists, Mohammadreza Aref said "Some of those arrested had only service to their country in mind.”
He expressed grief over how journalists have been treated in the past few years, adding "The same problems that existed for the press also existed for universities, that is, the same intensity of security observation existed and students were limited in their activities.”
He asserted "A puppet press would better not exist at all. The problem with our press is that they are so fragile. We must not deprive the reporter of her courage.”
In the sidelines of the meeting a representative journalist also provided comments on the journalistic atmosphere of the country in the past few years and said "During the Principalists' eight years, all were subject to threats and accusations, from the leader of Reformation to the smallest members, that is, journalists. Those journalists who found themselves on the safe side would accuse their coworkers with espionage, anti-national security activities, and so on.”
The journalists in the meeting asked Aref that equal situations be provided for both Reformist and Principalist journalists where security observations are eliminated.