Students held a large gathering today in the campus of the Tehran Azad University’s Science and Research Department in protest to the unaccountability of university officials on the death of 10 people killed in a bus accident in the mountainous regions of the capital.
The bus was carrying 30 students along a mountainous road within the science research campus of the Islamic Azad University in northwestern Tehran when it came off the road and hit a concrete column on Christmas day.
The protesters chanted against university officials demanding their resignation.
The former Minister of Foreign Affairs and MP, who currently holds 37 official simultaneous posts including 23 educational/medical positions, nine political positions and 6 cultural positions, is reportedly close to Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, as his chief foreign policy advisor.
The students also chanted, “Velayati, resign, resign”, “incompetent authorities have to be tried”, “students will die rather than be degraded”, and “my martyred student, I will avenge you.”
In one video, mostly girl students were heard chanting in unison, “Nilofar, we will avenge you”, referring to Nilofar Radmehr, a young female student killed in the crash.
One student said that the resignation of the highest ranking officials of the university was a price that authorities had to pay.
“They are not even willing to apologize,” the student said.
According to the ISNA state-run news agency, five assistant heads and managers of the Tehran Science and Research University were laid off after the incident but students on social media said that those who were laid off did not hold important posts and that the measure was carried out to silence students and the victims’ grieving families.
Another student held up a placard with pictures of the victims of the crash, which read, “The grief of losing our classmates did not even deserve a call for public mourning!!!” sarcastically asking why the government did not call for a day of national mourning for the students like it did for recently deceased cleric, Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, who was a probable candidate to replace Khamenei as Supreme Leader.
The Tehran students said they would continue their protest until an official addressed their grievances.