TEHRAN, 15 Mar. (IPS) In the worse students protest action against an Iranian government in the past eight years, anti-riot units of the revolutionary guards, backed by special units from the Interior Ministry, the basij volunteers and plainclothes men clashed with students of the Sharif Polytechnics University of Tehran, according to eyewitnesses and communiqués from the protesters.
The violence, that students sources described as “very brutal” started four days ago after the authorities approved a scheme aimed to bury in the grounds of the University’s mosque the remains of three “unknown martyrs”, a decision that the students denounced as an attempt by the authorities to “open their campus to militaries and abuses by elements hostile to students”.
When unwise, inexperienced, arrogant people come to power, one can not expect justice
“The attack on the students (opposed to the decision to burry martyrs in the University’s ground) was unprecedented in the past eight years by its violence and brutality to the point that even the Dean was wounded” a communiqué by the Office of Consolidating Unity (OCU), the largest organization of Iranian students reported on Tuesday, accusing the attackers of using tear gas, opening fire on the students and arresting several protesters.
Not only the government banned the press about reporting on the violent clashes that made several wounded among the students, but it also banned using the word “plainclothes men” on the pretext that it would “undermine the moral of the security forces”, the independent internet newspaper “Rooz” (Day) said on Wednesday 15 March 2006.
For its part, pro Government media accused the protesting students of "deliberate, provocative actions aimed at breaking the unity and solidarity of the peaple with the government at a time that the regime faces growing pressures from the enemies".
The initiative taken almost a month ago by the basiji students (pro-Khameneh’i students on the government’s payroll) and employees as well as some hard line religious committees of the Sharif Industrial University confirmed by the Supreme Council on Cultural Revolution had followed an earlier decision of the Government of fundamentalist President Mahmoud Ahmadi Nezhad to burry the remains of one hundred martyrs (of the 1980-1988 devastating Iran-Iraq War) in public places of the Capital.
From the outset, the move was opposed by several members of the Islamic Association of Students, suggesting a vote on the issue with the approval of the University’s directorate.
But the day after, the religious students backed by security forces that had closed all the University’s doors, started to dig emplacements for the martyrs.
Infuriated at the news, other students marched towards the mosque, invaded the ground and demonstrated peacefully as at the same time some hundred men dressed in black and carrying coffins entered the University from a back door, protected by a cordon of security forces that immediately assaulted the protesters.
Angered by the violation of the campus by the police, Mr. Soharabpour, the aged Dean of the University called for calm and the evacuation of the university by the intruders, but he was suddenly attacked by a mob of religious students, according to the OCU’s communiqué.
“When unwise, inexperienced, arrogant people come to power, one can not expect justice”, the communiqué said criticizing severely the Higher Education Minister “who not only was approved by the Majles with the least votes, but also is praised for having cleansed the universities from their best elements”.
“Appointing uneducated clerics who can barely read and write, expelling the best professors is one example of the numerous mistakes committed by the Minister, creating huge problems, creating an atmosphere of fear and revenge while the inexperienced cabinet of Ahmadi Nezhad who has failed in solving the nation’s slightest problems and has isolated the nation on the international scene find no better way out but engaging and menacing the students”, the communiqué added.
This latest crackdown on students, but also on the press and on the dissidents coincides with the defeat Ahmadi Nezhad at the IAEA.
This latest crackdown on students but also on the press and on the dissidents coincides with the humiliating defeat Iranian fanatic President Ahmadi Nezhad suffered at the International Atomic Energy Agency when its Board decided last week to report Iran’s controversial nuclear issue to the United Nations Security Council, according to political analysts.
As the five permanent members of the Security Council are debating a statement calling on Tehran to stop all atomic activities and resume negotiations with the European Troika, Ayatollah Ali Khameneh’i, who as the absolute leader of the regime has the last word on all key subjects ruled out any back stepping on the nuclear issue.
"The Islamic Republic of Iran considers retreat over the nuclear issue as breaking the country's independence which will impose huge costs on the Iranian nation", Mr. Khameneh’i told Iranian envoys abroad, adding forcefully that "This path is irreversible and the foreign policy establishment has to bravely defend the legitimate rights of Iranian people and Government".
“The use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is a necessity for the nation’s future. Every step back in the present circumstances would trigger and endless chain of further pressures and further retreat. Therefore, this path is irreversible”, he stressed, dashing all hopes for an amiable, diplomatic, negotiated solution to the Iranian nuclear crisis.
Likewise, the authorities arrested five young Iranians guilty of attending a recent meeting in the Persian Gulf city of Dubai, United Arab Emirate, they thought was organised by an international NGO while in fact it was sponsored by the United States and attended by some Los-Angeles-based Iranian exiles and Serbs teaching them regime change methods, informed sources reported. ENDS STUDENTS POLICE CLASH 15306