Morning Star | December 30, 2018
STUDENTS in Tehran demanded the resignation of high-ranking officials at Azad University on Saturday at a large protest over the deaths of 10 people in a bus accident on Tuesday.
Thousands gathered in the campus of the university’s Science and Research Department chanting an increasingly popular anti-government slogan: “Our backs to the enemy, our face to the nation.”
They said they would rather die than be degraded with a group of women pledging to “avenge” the death of Niloofar Radmehr, a young female student killed in the crash.
The bus was carrying 30 students on a science field trip when it came off the road and crashed into a concrete post in the mountainous region surrounding Tehran. Students warned that the accident was avoidable and questioned the safety and poor quality of the university buses.
They called for Azad’s board of trustees chairman Ali Akbar Velayati to be held responsible for the students’ deaths and to be sacked.
Mr Velayati, a former foreign minister who now holds 37 posts including nine political positions, is a senior advisor to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei which protestors believe is protecting him from dismissal.
Saturday’s protests are the latest in growing unrest at the clerical regime’s rule. Trade unionists have been jailed and allegedly tortured following strikes at the Ahvaz steelworks and Haft Tappeh sugarcane complex.
Despite being threatened with the death penalty, Iranian lorry drivers have taken their fifth national strike over increased costs and poor terms and conditions.
Iran’s Tudeh Party has called for co-ordinated action to bring an end to the theocratic regime.