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Students Across Iran Protest Over Attack, Arrests at Sharif University

Protests set off by the death of Mahsa Amini present the biggest threat to the Islamic regime in years AP
Protests set off by the death of Mahsa Amini present the biggest threat to the Islamic regime in years AP

Iranian students are protesting in reaction to the Islamic Republic's security forces’ attack on students at Tehran’s Sharif University. 

Over the weekend, students at that university were brutally attacked, shot at and arrested as they came out in demonstration over the regime’s murder of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini over her improper hijab. 

The latest development in Iran comes as Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei appeared in public to threaten protesters and vowed to use any force necessary to quell the ongoing demonstrations on the streets. 

Video and photos from the attack at Sharif University showed Islamic Basij forces riding on motorcycles with guns arresting, beating, and even killing students at Sharif University. The exact death toll is not known. 

Students gathered there Sunday morning inside the university's main gate, chanting slogans like "Death to the Islamic Republic" and "Down with Khamenei," when a group of pro-government militants showed up, mocked them, and beat them up, according to reports.  

“We are witnessing a revolution in Iran, and students have always played a critical role in revolutions & other political events. That is why the regime responded with such brutality toward the protesting Sharif University students. It wanted to send a message to all other students across Iran. But the government has failed to intimidate them,” said Iranian American regional expert Alireza Nader. 

“Today, tens of thousands of students came into the streets, especially young women calling for the regime’s overthrow. Many other Iranians will follow the students’ lead,” explained Nader. 

In response to the protests and chants from the students, Iranian officials warned protesters and threatened them with arrests. With the students refusing to quit their chants, security forces were sent to crack down on them using shotgun pellets, paintball guns, and other weapons. Those who tried to exit the campus were met by plainclothes armed vigilantes, who started beating up, tear-gassing and shooting point-blank at students. 

According to reports, agents arrested around 30-40 students, whose fate remains unknown. While some Iranian officials at the university tried to prevent security forces from detaining students, security forces continued to make arrests, with unconfirmed reports of around 100 students arrested and sent to an unknown location.  

On Monday, Sharif University's Islamic Student Association issued a call for a national student strike considering the actions that occurred over the weekend. In response to the student strike call, universities in Esfahan, Mashhad, Sanandaj, Semnan, and Kermanshah responded by staging sit-ins and calling for the regime's downfall. 

The Foreign Desk posted videos of regime attacks at Tabriz University Monday.  

The death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini has sparked a strong response from the Iranian people for more than two weeks. 

Iranians from all over the country have come onto the streets and protested the Islamic Republic, calling for regime change and an end to the Islamic regime's 43-year rule. 

Many Iranian women have taken to the streets to burn their hijabs and walk without coverings, calling for women's rights in the country. 

In response to the continued protests, Iran President Ebrahim Raisi and officials from the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps have warned protesters to cease their revolts against the regime or face brutal consequences. While regime security officials have been deployed throughout Iran, many believe that the deployment of the Basij force is another indication that the regime is stepping up its crackdown against Iranian citizens. 

Amidst rumors that he may have died after not appearing publicly for a few weeks, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei responded publicly Monday, condemning what he called "rioting" while accusing the United States and Israel of meddling in Iranian affairs.  

Khamenei reiterated earlier statements from Islamic authorities, warning that "those who foment unrest to sabotage the Islamic Republic deserve harsh prosecution and punishment." 

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