Protests by Iranian University Students Increases Pressure on Leaders

Protests By Iranian University Students Increases Pressure On Leaders
đź“· A female protester in the streets who removed her headscarf.
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Iranian university students continued sit-down strikes on Tuesday despite stern warnings from security forces.

Since Iranian-Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini died in the custody of morality police seven weeks ago after being arrested for wearing “inappropriate” clothing, the Islamic Republic has faced ongoing anti-government demonstrations.

According to the activist HRANA news agency, sit-down protests, which are a component of a public uprising demanding the death of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, are occurring in a number of locations, including Tehran and Isfahan.

The protests, one of the most audacious challenges to Iran’s clerical leaders in decades, have been picking up momentum, infuriating authorities who have attempted to pin the unrest on Iran’s foreign adversaries and their agents, a claim that few Iranians buy into.

Iranian rulers came under fire from Asieh Bakeri, a military hero’s daughter from the 1980s war with Iraq.

“Yes, martyrs are looking over us but they are also watching over your theft of public treasury, embezzlement, discrimination, oppression, pouring of innocents’ blood,” she said, underscoring how discontent is spreading to families who have a special place in society.

“You shoot at the people with war weapons […] it’s been years you have harassed journalists with accusations of spying.”

“People risk their lives to go to the streets but the hope that they are able to defeat the regime is much bigger than their fears,” said Omid Memarian, senior Iran analyst at Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN).

Participants in the protests come from all walks of life, with women and students dominating the scene by waving and setting fire to their headscarves.

Analysts argue that while it is unlikely that the protests would topple Iran’s clerical leadership, they do believe that the unrest is a first step toward more profound political upheaval.

“These protests are being seen as an opportunity to push for change … this is a moment they hope to build upon,” said Sanam Vakil, deputy director at the Royal Institute of International Affairs.

According to HRANA, security personnel detained at least four kids from Sanandaj’s Bahonar Middle School.

About 1,000 people charged with stirring up trouble in Tehran will face public trials, as Iran’s hardline judiciary steps up its efforts to put an end to weeks of protests.

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