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Iran: University Students Protest, Demand Resignation of Spiritual Leader’s Adviser

Iran: University Students Protest, Demand Resignation of Spiritual Leader’s Adviser

Monday, 31 December, 2018 - 13:00
People protest in Tehran, Iran December 30, 2017. REUTERS.
London - Asharq Al-Awsat
Hundreds of Iranian students demonstrated on Sunday for the second day in a row to demand the resignation of officials of the board of Azad University, including the senior adviser of Iranian Supreme Leader, Ali Akbar Velayati, in the wake of a bus accident that killed 10 people, IRNA agency reported.

Demonstrators were reported to have raised pictures of the victims of Tuesday’s incident in a square on the road leading to the university, in a rare act of opposition at the Azad Islamic University. They called for the resignation of the university’s chairman of the board of trustees, Ali Akbar Velayati, the sports and youth ministry’s news agency Borna reported.

The bus was carrying 30 students along a mountainous road within the university's science and research campus in northwestern Tehran when it veered off the road and hit a concrete column. Seven were killed instantly, state TV said, while an updated death toll of 10 was reported by the conservative Tasnim news agency the day after the crash.

The university said Tuesday’s incident was caused the driver having a stroke, which was later denied by the forensic doctor. On social media, the public and students have pointed to the university’s ageing bus fleet and lack of maintenance.

Several managers were fired in the wake of the accident and some arrested, the university told ISNA news agency on Wednesday.

Students called for the replacement of the university's bus fleet, the establishment of an emergency center on campus, and the building of security barriers along the entire mountainous road where the accident took place.

Iran’s prosecutor general Mohammad-Jafar Montazeri visited the protesting students and called for calm, pledging to follow up on the case personally and punish wrongdoers “if they were found guilty.”

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