The Corner

Iran News Round Up, Pt. 1 (Tehran Univ. Protests)

My colleague Ali Alfoneh compiled this. Today’s Iran News Round Up in two parts because of length.

  • Student protest at Tehran University:
    • Front page picture of E’temad Melli showing a student demonstration against Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s presence at Tehran University.
    • Student sign reads: “We have all questions. Why only Columbia?”
    • Similar pictures on front page of reformist daily Hambastegi.
    • Ahmadinejad did not answer any questions; claimed the results of his New York trip are “as great as the God almighty.”
    • Riot police attacked the students with tear gas and pepper spray.
    • More photos.
    • Pro-Ahmadinejad student group claims protesters were SAVAK, CIA, and Mossad.
    • Entekhab: “More than 500 students, mostly from Amir Kabir University gathered at the University of Teheran in act of protest against the policies of the government and the presidency… There was also a demonstration supportive of the Iranian president arranged by University Basij, Islamic Association of University Students and Independent Islamic Associations… The protesters claimed they protest against purging of university professors and the lack of integrity of the university as an academic institution…We condemn the behavior of Columbia University’s president, but if President Ahmadinejad goes all the way to New York to answer the question of university students, why does he not answer our questions here in Tehran?”
    • The protesters chanted: “Death to Dictator,” “Canons, tanks, Basij militia, have no effect any longer,” “Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the agent of corruption and discrimination,” “Shame on you Basij militiamen, let the university be,” “Free Ehsam Mansouri,” “Free Majid Tavakoli,” “Free Ahmad Ghassaban.”
    • Akhbar-e Rooz featured an interview with an anonymous student saying: “At Columbia, Ahmadinejad claimed there is freedom in Iran. But there is no freedom and a lot of students are imprisoned. We want Ahmadinejad to be held accountable for his lies.
    • University of Tehran awarded Ahmadinejad the medal of “Academic and Political Courage” because of his performance at Columbia.
    • Iranian film critic Mohammad Nourizadeh in an open letter to Ahmadinejad: “Why did our television underestimate the intellectual level of our nation and not show any scene from Columbia president’s speech so we can understand and analyze this [Bollinger’s] great insult?”
      • “I wish you could have told us that along with our nuclear brilliance you have also succeeded in eradicating drug addiction and smuggling business.”
      • “Japanese executives commit suicide to escape the scrutiny of the public in case of their failure. In our country, criminal executives behave as if the public is indebted to them…”

Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, senior lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Civil-Military Relations, and a senior editor of the Middle East Quarterly.

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