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Protests continue in Iranian universities despite heavy security presence

Amir Kabir University, Tehran—4th day of student protests
Amir Kabir University, Tehran—4th day of student protests

Reporting by PMOI/MEK

Iran, January 14, 2020—Iranian students in several Tehran universities defied the Iranian regime’s security forces and returned to the streets for a fourth consecutive day of protests.

Protests began on Saturday after Iranian officials admitted, following a three-day delay, that its military had shot down a civilian passenger plane flying from Tehran to Kiev, Ukraine. Students in different Iranian cities turned candlelight vigils into anti-regime protests, slamming Iranian officials for lying to the public and calling for the overthrow of the mullahs’ regime.

On Tuesday, security forces had lined up on major streets in Tehran to prevent protests from taking shape. The regime had also dispatched contingents of its Basij paramilitary forces to university campuses to counter possible rallies by university students.

Nonetheless, students gathered at several universities in the Iranian capital. At Tehran University, a large crowd of students were chanting anti-regime slogans. The demonstrators called on Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of the Iranian regime, to resign. "Commander in chief, resign!" the students were chanting. “The leader is a disgrace.” The protesters called for the release of imprisoned students.

They also shouted, “Death to the rule of the mullahs,” making it clear that they will compromise on nothing less than regime change in their country. “We will die, but we will take back Iran,” the students chanted, underlining their resolve to free their country.

In previous weeks, regime officials and proponents have been trying to dampen the rage of the people by making propositions of reforms and referendum on some matters of state. But the students of Tehran University made it clear that they are fed up with the hollow promises of regime insiders.

 

 

While protests were initially triggered by the regime’s downing of the passenger airplane, the event has brought back feelings of outrage and resentment toward the regime and its brutal security forces in murdering more than 1,500 protesters during the November nationwide uprisings. A common feature of the demonstrations are slogans that directly target the supreme leader and call for the overthrow of the regime, strictly considered a red line by the ruling mullahs.

At the Tehran University Medical School, the gathered students were chanting, “Death to the tyrant, both the Shah and the Leader.” Shah was the monarch who was overthrown by popular revolutions in 1979. "Leader" is a reference to Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of the Iranian regime.

The presence of a group of basij paramilitary forces did not intimidate the students of Tehran University Medical School. While the basijis were trying to disrupt the demonstration with dirges and mourning songs, the students were chanting, "Be afraid, we are together."

At the Amir Kabir University, also in Tehran, the students were chanting, "Mullahs must get lost." They also called on the Revolutionary Guards, the military wing of the regime in charge of suppressing the people, to “let go of the country.” The IRGC shot down the Ukrainian airplane. It was also the main force behind the brutal suppression of the November uprisings.

Security forces and paramilitary basij units tried to disperse the crowd, but the students resisted and chanted, "You are ISIS to us" and "Shame on you!"

The basijis eventually attacked the demonstrator with rocks, injuring several of the students. Several students were arrested and transferred to an unknown location.

Despite the presence of security forces, protesters marched in Tehran’s Enghelab Street and continued to chant anti-regime slogans.

 

 

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), hailed the students for continuing their protests and called on all the people, especially the youth, to support them.

“I urge the United Nations Secretary-General, the UN Security Council, the European Union, and its member states, and all international organs defending human rights to condemn the vicious suppression of protests by the people and students in Iran, to take immediate steps to free the detainees, and to send an international delegation to visit prisons and prisoners arrested during the uprising,” Mrs. Rajavi said.