Khamenei's unexpected intervention in Tehran University to counter students' unrest

This morning, units of Revolutionary Guards and Ministry of Intelligence agents were stationed at the entrance to Tehran University to prevent people from entering the premises. Rival factions within the regime had previously announced their intention to hold two simultaneous demonstrations on Tehran University's campus today.

At 1 p.m. amid extraordinary security precautions, the regime's supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, came to Tehran University and made a speech for his supporters at the university. Khamenei lambasted "the intellectuals" and called on intellectuals in Iran "to support the Islamic Republic, rather than siding with our enemies."

The cancellation of student demonstrations and the unexpected showing up of Khamenei himself at Tehran University are a measure of the ruling clerics' profound fears of the outbreak of further unrest and antigovernment protests by young Iranians, especially university and school students. In recent months, 216 acts of protest, antigovernment strikes and demonstrations have been recorded in different cities across the country.

The regime's leaders, including Khamenei, Khatami and Rafsanjani, have publicly acknowledged in the past three weeks that they are alarmed at the explosive potentials and profound dissatisfaction pervasive among the 20 million young Iranians. The youth played a key role in the uprising by 10,000 people in south-west Tehran on May 4 and chanted slogans against the mullahs' regime in its entirety.

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
May 12, 1998

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