31 Dec 2009 23:55
WSJ | Dec. 31, 2009
Behind the drama unfolding in the streets of Iran, the regime is quietly clamping down on some of the nation's best students by derailing their academic and professional careers.
On Wednesday, pro-government militia attacked and beat students at a school in northeastern Iran. Since last Sunday's massive protests nationwide, dozens of university students have been arrested as part of an aggressive policy against what are known as Iran's "star students."
In most places, being a star means ranking top of the class, but in Iran it means your name appears on a list of students considered a threat by the intelligence ministry. It also means a partial or complete ban from education.
Report from Isfahan
Tehran Bureau | Dec. 31, 2009
University staff member:
They closed down the university on Tuesday and Wednesday and forced all the staff to participate in the demonstrations. Students were also encouraged to attend -- noot surprisingly though, very few did. They checked off staff names once when boarding the designated buses, then again at noon when serving us lunch (courtesy of the Governor!).
Four of our medical students have been suspended for a year for participating in the 16 Azar [Student Day] demonstrations. After a long campaign on their behalf, they pardoned them last week. But, as reported by Etemad newspaper, on Tuesday they reissued their suspensions for a full year; another 15 were given notices.
Photo (archive): A University is not a Prison.
Iran police fire tear gas in central Tehran
Rahe Sabz | Dec. 31, 2009
The pro-Mousavi Web site Rahe Sabz (Jaras) has reported that police have fired tear gas to disperse the crowd at Haft Tir Square in central Tehran.
According to the Web site, teargas canisters were fired into the crowd as several small groups of protesters attempted to come together as one group.
Iran state radio says Western media fail to cover pro-government rallies
Seda va Sima | Dec. 31, 2009
Western media outlets censored news about a large turnout of Iranians to condemn insults waged against Ashura.
The British media, BBC in particular, which was covering the insulators' lesser moves in an ample and exaggerated fashion, and was describing the situation in Iran as very critical and tense during Ashura [Dec. 27], and the days following it, failed to broadcast footage on the rallies attended by a million people in Iran.
Italian state radio and television channels also censored Wednesday's news of huge rallies by the Iranian nation to show their support for the Leader and to condemn the desecration of Ashura. Some Western agencies, like France Press and Euronews also described the rallies of the Iranian nation as government engineered.
Students boycott classes at Iran's north-eastern university
Rahe Sabz | Dec. 31, 2009
Students at Azad University of Mashhad have issued a statement expressing their hatred for the events that took place at the University Thursday [clashes with pro-government forces]. The students will boycott their classes today in protest.
The text of the statement says:
Wednesday 9 Dey 1388 [Dec. 30, 2009] was a day that was recorded in history of Mashhad's Azad University as a day when the ugly face of ignorance reappeared in the shape of righteousness carrying daggers and knives.
On this tense Wednesday, the University classes were ended at 1400 [1030 GMT] and faculties were evacuated because of the barbaric attacks of thugs who were assaulting students with daggers and knives. No one in his right mind would expect more from those primitive thugs; one would have been surprised if they acted otherwise. They beat up students and drew their knives against them. They disrespected the university and did whatever they wanted to do.
But the [Islamic] guards at the University played a key role there. The guards, which usually watch out if the students' outfits are appropriate and if girls' hairs are showing, in sheer disgrace allowed the thugs to enter the University and beat up the students. And all the while they watched the situation. Shame on the guards that cooperate with the thugs and act against the students and honor of the University, instead of protecting them.
We, on behalf of all the students, hereby announce that we will boycott all classes on Thursday in protest against the shameful action of the guards. We will hold a silent protest at the Technical faculty of the University. We will not give up our stance as long as the reasons for such disrespect are made clear.
Iran expands world TV broadcasts with new channel
Fars News | Dec. 31, 2009
Iran has opened "Sahar 2," an international television channel broadcasting programs in three languages: English, Kurdish and Urdu. According to Fars news agency, Ezzatollah Zarghami, the head of the radio and TV organization, inaugurated Sahar 2 TV channel.
"The reason for the soaring increase in the number of audiences of the foreign services of the Iranian radio and TV networks was because people of the world increasingly do not trust the biased and one-sided news and reports disseminated by Western media and the regional channels that toe their lines," Zarghami was quoted as saying.
"The Sahar 2 TV network will broadcast 19 hours of programs in three languages, English, Kurdish and Urdu, and Sahar 1 airs programs in French, Azari, and Bosnian," Fars news agency added.
'Counter-revolutionaries, hooligans and foreigners' had hand in unrest
Mehr News | Dec. 31, 2009
In a statement issued on Thursday the Intelligence Ministry announced that it has found traces about the role of groups such as counter-revolutionary forces, hooligans, foreigners and inciters in Sunday's violent riots.
The ministry said it would soon release important information about the role of these groups, adding that dreams such as a velvet revolution and the toppling of the Islamic system by the enemies will never be realized.
The ministry said it has credible information about contacts between certain inciters and foreigners and anti-revolutionary groups.
It also said as a last call, it warns deceived persons not to be manipulated by foreigners, and to differentiate between themselves and the enemies otherwise they would be dealt with according to the law.
The statement by the ministry came as protesters took to the streets in central Tehran on Sunday and chanted slogans against top government officials, clashed with police, and damaged public property.
Press Roundup provides a selected summary of news from the Iranian press, and excerpts where the source is in English. The link to the news organization or blog is provided at the top of each item. Tehran Bureau has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy. Please refer to the Media Guide to help put the story in perspective.