Iran students carry on protests

Reporting from Beirut – Students in the western Iranian city of Ahvaz in recent days launched an impromptu protest in a campus auditorium. In Kashan on Monday, a group took over the campus cafeteria, singing anti-government songs. A couple of weeks ago in Tehran, others cheered wildly as someone threw a shoe at President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s former culture minister. Then on Monday, students shouted down the ex-minister, Mohammad-Hossein Saffar-Harandi, once again. Largely absent from international media reports and discounted by Western policymakers more focused on Iran’s nuclear program, the protest movement that erupted after Ahmadinejad’s disputed June 12 reelection has continued to smolder, mostly on college campuses. Defying warnings by security officials, protesters plan to stage their first large public gatherings in six weeks on Wednesday. This time they plan to turn an annual nationwide march commemorating the 1979 takeover of the U.S. Embassy, held on the 13th day of the Persian calendar month of Aban, into an anti-government rally. “The 13th of Aban is another appointment for us,” opposition leader Mir-Hossein Mousavi said in a statement published by reformist websites. “It is here to remind us, once again, that the people are the leaders.” In the West, some analysts have begun to discount the opposition movement’s ability to affect Tehran’s decision-making. Some say months of repression have gutted the pr… >>>

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