President Hassan Rouhani said young Iranian protesters were unhappy about far more than just the economy and they would no longer defer to the views and lifestyle of an aging revolutionary elite.
The pragmatic cleric, who defeated anti-Western hardliners to win re-election last year, also called for the lifting of curbs on social media used by anti-government protesters in the most sustained challenge to conservative authorities since 2009.
“It would be a misrepresentation (of events) and also an insult to Iranian people to say they only had economic demands,” Rouhani was quoted as saying by Tasnim news agency.
“People had economic, political and social demands.”
Rouhani, 69, suggested there was a generational element to the unrest, which appears to have been spearheaded by under-25s.
“We cannot pick a lifestyle and tell two generations after us to live like that. It is impossible… The views of the young generation about life and the world is different than ours,” he said.