Yesterday was the first day of classes at Iran’s Tehran University, an occasion traditionally marked by a presidential visit. But Mahmoud Ahmadinejad kept clear of the campus yesterday as a thousand students marched in protest against his government.
The protesters carried green balloons and ribbons, symbols of the democratic opposition to the Iranian regime, as they condemned the theft of the country’s June 12 presidential election and demanded the release of the estimated one hundred democracy protesters currently jailed in Iran.
Iranian news agencies reported that at least two of yesterday’s protesters were detained by police.
Student protests continued today, as hundreds marched at Sharif University, two miles away.
Iranian Science and Education Minister Kamran Daneshjou was at Sharif to dedicate a new campus library, and some of today’s protesters carried copies of a recent Nature article that accused Daneshjou of plagiarism. Daneshjou, an engineer, served as an election official in Iran’s interior ministry in June, and was appointed to the science and education ministry earlier this month.
Update: A New York Times article on today’s protest puts the number of marchers at more than a thousand, and reports that university security tried and failed to disperse the crowd as it gathered. It also notes that Iranian student websites have reported that “dozens of student activists were jailed or barred from attending classes this month” in a government attempt to tamp down campus protest at the start of the new year.