Irans elite technical university emerges as hub of protests

News Summary

  • Amid American sanctions and raging inflation, some students joked the university was essentially an airport, as the best and brightest students rushed to leave for Europe and the U.S. after graduation.A turning point came in 2018, students said.
  • Later that year, authorities arrested two top students on widely disputed security charges, stoking outrage.“We have no industry, we are in a bad economic situation, the environment is ruined,” said the student association activist, listing the reasons for protest.
  • On Sunday, the university announced it would temporarily ban over two dozen students who contributed to the “unstable environment.”That prompted more demonstrations, as students raged against both university authorities and the ruling clerics.
  • Most recently this week, female students streamed into the male-only section of the dining hall in protest over campus gender segregation as male students cheered them on.
  • Crowds demonstrated anyway, pumping their fists and chanting “Death to the dictator!” — a slogan that protesters have used around the country.On Oct. 2, the protests devolved into violent mayhem, according to statements from the association.As hundreds of students chanted against Khamenei, plainclothes security forces raided campus.
  • The university closed the cafeteria on Tuesday, hoping to end the demonstrations.Instead, the students moved their lunch to the campus yard, videos showed.
By ISABEL DEBRE Associated PressThe aging brick campus of the Sharif University of Technology, Irans elite technical school, has long been a magnet for the nations brightest minds, with a record [+7660 chars]