La Herradura 9 Dec. (IPS) Seriously anxious at the prospects of the fundamentalists represented by fanatic President Mahmoud Ahmadi Nezhad loosing the next presidential elections, Ayatollah Ali Khameneh’i was again compelled to come down personally in the political arena, acting not as the supreme leader of the Islamic Republic who stands above political lines, but as the champion of a political party fighting for survival.
On 7th December, Mr. Khameneh’i once again expressed his full support of Mr. Ahmadi Nezhad during a meeting with Mr. Raphael Correa, the leftist President of Ecuador by the Iranian President as “a young man who works relentlessly day and night with plenty of energy”.
Mr. Khameneh’i and the regime he represents are so unpopular that he cancelled a meeting at Tehran University.
As he was so warmly praising Mr. Ahmadi Nezhad while playing his worn out record of diatribe against the United States for his Latino guest, students at Tehran University, situated in the centre of the Capital, were shouting “Death to Dictator”, “Ahmadi Nezhad, The symbol of repression and oppression”, “The victory is at hand, shame to demagogue Government”.
In fact, Mr. Khameneh’i, and the regime he represents via the ruling hard line clerics known as the “Principalists”, are so unpopular that he was forced to cancel his scheduled and announced plan to address the students at Tehran University on 6 December, known as the “Student’s Day”, without providing any explanation.
The demonstration, organized by the Office for Consolidating Unity (OCU), the Iranian student’s largest pro-reform organization despite a heavy presence of police, security forces and Basiji students who are at the regime’s payroll, was to denounce the government’s increasing militarization of the political atmosphere of the nation, imprisonment of dissident students, intellectuals, journalists, artists and politicians and injustice, as well as “lapidating’ public’s money in help to regimes opposed to Washington or radical Palestinian ad and Lebanese groups.
On the occasion of Student's Day, Iranian students denonced the reppressive policies of Ahmadi Nezhad Government and expressed their anger against the regime.
Speakers at the rally also called for basic democratic rights, freedom of speech, the press, human rights and justice.
“The reason we decided to organize our meeting one day after the Student’s Day was because the authorities refused to give us permission”, explained one of the OCU’s spokeswoman, as any rally or demonstration at the universities must be authorized by the deans of the universities, themselves on the payroll of the government.
In recent years several members of the students' movement have been arrested on security related charges and sentenced to long prison terms, exiled, or expelled from Iran's universities.
While pro-Government media and agencies like the official IRNA and the semi-official Pars, which is close to the Revolutionary guards described the protesting students as “a bunch of anarchists”, a spokesman for the OCU put the number of the students who had entered the University after clashing with security forces at between 3,000 to 4,000, a number confirmed by eyewitnesses.
As the meeting was touching its end, Basiji students who had gathered outside the University suddenly changed their slogans to denouncing various projects put cautiously forward by former president Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and the Speaker of the Majles, Ali Larijani, for the formation a “national unity government”, and chanted against former moderate president Mohammad Khatami.
Political analysts says the situation in Iranian universities is explosive”.
In recent weeks, more voices are urging Mr. Khatami to run in the presidential race, but he hesitates, some of his friends reminding him that in case he wins – and if the elections are not rigged and manipulated, as they were four years ago in favour of Mr. Ahmamdi Nezhad, he certainly would win --, he would face the same obstacles Ayatollah Khameneh’i created for him during the eight years of his presidency between 1997 and 2005.
Political analysts says the situation in Iranian universities is explosive”, as seen from the violence of verbal attacks the Speaker of the Majles was subject at Shiraz University days before the Student’s Day.
“Considering that the process of elections is illegal, therefore, the Majles you represent is illegal, therefore, I don’t recognize you as the Speaker of the Majles”, one student said, adding: “And let me say loudly that I hate Ahmadi Nezhad because of his demagogue policy, I hate him because of the growing censorship and repressions and I hate his policies”. The auditorium rose in applause, while some Basiji students shouted “Ahmadi, Ahmadi”. ENDS STUDENTS PROTESTS 91208