Journal of Iranian Research and Analysis, Volume 15 Number 2 November 1999
The Student Movement in the Islamic Republic of Iran
By Ali Akbar Mahdi
2. The Student Movement during the Pahlavi Period
3. The Student Movement during Khomeini's Rule
Writing about current affairs is a risky adventure. One may not be sure whether his/her finger is truly on the pulse of events or only on a flutter resulting from turbulent storms in distant waters. Though many of the facts about the July student protests in Iranian universities is still to be sorted out, there are missing pieces in the puzzle whose future discovery will help us develop a better and more accurate picture of what happened in those crucial six days. The more one reads about the July events in Iran, the more it becomes clear that much of what is being written is filled with either wishful thinking or calculated reporting. Much of what has been published in Iran during the past three months is either calculated reporting by different political factions or self-censored reporting by a press in constant fear of attack by the conservative courts and vigilantes, known as the Ansar-e Hezbollah [hereafter the Ansar]. The official reports of this event can best be described as topsy-turvy. They represent an intentional inversion of facts in order to hide clues as to the real perpetrators of the raid on student dormitories and subsequent events. They are engineered in order to withhold damaging information, generate a sense of stability, blame the trouble on the targeted enemies, and cover up wrong doings by security forces and groups associated with both government factions.
Outside of Iran, reports and analyses of these events, by both Iranians and non-Iranians, are free of censorship but are filled with premature conclusions and romanticization of the student movement in Iran. A respected foreign magazine went so far as to characterize these events as another revolution. (1) Patrick Clawson of the Washington Institute for Near Eastern Policy spoke of "the beginning of the end" of the Islamic Republic and Hammed Shahidian, an Iranian activist scholar in the United States, wrote an article in Persian, titled "The beginning of the End." (2) The wide and sudden burst of these accounts may explain the desires for a serious change in Iran among Iranians living abroad. However, it fails to explain why we have heard nothing about the Iranian student movement for the past two decades of the Islamic Republic's rule. In fact, several experts have spoken of the silent and difficult period of Iranian student movement during the past two decades. (3) The issue became so serious that on the anniversary of the occupation of the American Embassy, in 1994, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei warned of indifference among students. Later, the official student magazine associated with his representative at Amir Kabir Technical University warned that this condition would negatively affect the revolution. (4)
Aside from the optimistic and sympathetic features of these accounts, they characterize the student movement in Iran as an organized, independent, democratic, and secular movement bent on replacing the Islamic government with a democratic one. Many of the writings about the student movement in Iran are based on a romantic view of student activism and a desire to overthrow the Islamic Republic. The current student movement in Iran is quite different from the movement that developed during the Pahlavi regime.
The revolution and subsequent developments have had qualitative effects on the organization, leadership, ideology, and direction of this movement. The current student movement is significantly more complex and demanding than ever before. It is increasingly connected to the political demands of the Iranian civil society, as well as the factional politics and structural crises of the IRI. In the following paragraphs, I will briefly review the student movement during the Pahlavi Period, and then move on to discuss in more detail the ebb and flow of student activism which led to the July protests. The purpose is to show the characteristics of the student movement in each period, demonstrate the nature of energy channeled into the July protests, and show both the engineered and spontaneous phases of these events.
2. The Student Movement during the Pahlavi Period
Up until the revolution, the student movement was one of the most active elements of the suppressed Iranian civil society. The University of Tehran was established in 1934 but it is not until the departure of Reza Shah from Iran in 1944 that we can speak of a student movement in Iran. The most visible and eventful aspects of this movement can be found in its activities during the three decades of Mohammad Reza Shah's rule. These activities began early during the struggle for the nationalization of the oil industry and events that resulted in the overthrow of Mossadeq's government and the return of the Shah. In the absence of political parties in much of this period, the movement became the political spokesman for ideological and political trends in society and a vanguard of socio-political protest in Iran. (5) It was the most outspoken force against the state. It also had a diverse ideological character reflecting the ideologies of political opposition. In fact, it was a movement closely tied to political opposition and ideological movements outside of the campuses.
Despite its ideological diversity, organizationally speaking the movement consisted of two groups: Islamic and non-Islamic. The secular or non-Islamic associations, which were the strongest and largest associations, often had ties to the guerrilla movement operating outside of universities and served as a recruiting ground for them.(6) That is why all members of the guerrilla movement were university students.(7) The Islamic associations made up a small segment of the student movement and often had loose contacts with Ayatollah Khomeini and the Nehzat-e Azaadi-ye Iran [The Freedom Movement of Iran, hereafter NAI]. Both sets of associations worked with each other against the Pahlavi dictatorship. Given the prevalence of political suppression and the common opposition to the Shah, there were few clashes between these associations. At most, disagreements between them would result in non-cooperation in mobilization.
Though Iranian students always identified with Third World independence movements, especially Palestinian and Vietnamese causes, their focus remained on Iran. Rarely did these associations advocate reformist goals. If there were any reformist attitude, it was found mostly during the premierships of Mohammad Mossadeq and later Ali Amini. The slogan "reforms yes, dictatorship no", advocated by the Jebhe Melli Iran [the Iran National Front hereafter JMI] in early 1962, had some following among its student branches. The dominant features of the movement during the Pahlavi period were political radicalism, intellectual idealism, anti-dictatorship, anti-imperialism, anti-Americanism, and nationalism. When concerning themselves with educational issues affecting the daily aspects of teaching and learning in universities, the matter would invariably become political and turn into a concern against the state. In short, the focus of the movement was political; the scope of its activities national, and the state was always the target.
In the last years of the Pahlavi regime, it was students who again initiated the process that later culminated in revolution. Student poetry readings, which began in Tehran, were an early catalyst in a chain of events that crippled the old regime. In 1977, when demonstrations against the Shah had become widespread, the student associations recruited many new members and organized numerous protest rallies in major cities.(8) The Islamic associations also became extremely active, collaborating more closely with forces supporting Ayatollah Khomeini's call for the departure of the Shah.
3. The Student Movement during Khomeini's Rule
3.1. Prior to the Cultural Revolution: During early days of the revolution, students expanded their activities, joined revolutionary forces, and engaged in the takeover and occupation of numerous residential properties left behind by the fleeing high members of the old regime.(9) Political ideologies of general movements outside of the university began to have a great impact on the student associations and their activities. By the time the Shah left the country and Ayatollah Khomeini returned, the student associations had become a major arm of their respective political groups in universities. As recruitment ground, these student associations had turned universities into de facto headquarters for their respective political groups and battlegrounds for much of their ideological scuffles. Many faculty members followed students in organizing for collective action, such as the Sazemaan-e Melli Daaneshgaahi-yaane Iran (the National Organization for University Professors = NOUP). (10) During early days of the revolution when the clerical establishment had begun purging universities and appointing loyal staffs to university positions, the NOUP issued a statement calling for the democratic management and student participation in the university affairs. (11) In the chaotic days of the revolution, when the new regime was struggling to gain control of situations, these demands added to problems of managing universities, the government, and the society. Faced with the tasks of institution and state building, Mehdi Bazargan's Provisional Government was disturbed by the constant political agitations and demands put to it by political groups, including student and faculty organizations. Working with the clerics, the Islamic Student Organizations also agitated against the so-called liberal policies followed by the Provisional Government.
On November 4, 1979, following an earlier attempt by the Sazmaane Fedaa' iyaan-e Iran [the Organization of Devotees, a Marxist organization] in February 1979, a group of Muslim students calling themselves "Daaneshjooyaane Mosalmaane Payro Khat-e Emaam" [the Muslim Students Following the Imam's Path, hereafter MSFIL] took initiative and engaged in the boldest, most radical, and most consequential action by any student group in the history of student activism in Iran: the seizure of the US Embassy and the holding of American diplomats as hostages for 444 days.
Ayatollah Khomeini supported the takeover and the MSFIL's cause, thus using the Embassy takeover for undermining various elements of opposition to his newly established theocracy. The first victim was the Provisional Government, which fell apart two days after the takeover. Soon after, the MSFIL began to piece together and release shredded documents from the US Embassy, charging various individuals and groups with collaboration with the American government. Tough most targets were anti-clerical groups or secular intelligentsia, religious opposition, then led by Grand Ayatollah Shariatmadari, was not spared.(12) The clerical establishment efficiently used these students and the hostages for subjugating dissent and consolidating their power. However, they could neither allow this level of radicalism to spread to other social arenas nor to continue for long. Later resolution of the hostage crisis and the engagement in a war with Iraq required more control over various forms of activism outside of the government institutions.(13)
3.2. The Student Movement and the Cultural Revolution: After the election of Abolhassan Banisadr as the first president of the IR, universities continued to be a hotbed of activism. Being young, active, energetic, and mostly influenced by the secular groups, especially the leftist organizations, students, as well as their Western educated teachers, were a major obstacle in the way of consolidation of power by the clerics. Being able to establish an Islamic government, clerics felt the need to neutralize the influence of secular currents and their respective student supporters in universities.
On February 27, 1980, the Ministry of Interior issued an order banning "activities of all political groups in universities" and demanding that "cultural activities by students" must conform to the government and university regulations. On March 21,1980, Ayatollah Khomeini criticized universities for giving refuge to professors and students "who were dependent on the East and West, and opposed the Islamization of universities." A week after his speech, the Technical University of Tehran was forced to close by the Islamic Student Association in that university. On April 18, 1980, after a Friday Prayer speech against universities by then Hojatoleslam Khamenei, Hezbollahi elements, shouting slogans against "the West- and East-stricken professors," rallied toward three universities: the Polytechnic, Science and Technology, and Teacher Training. The Revolutionary Council issued a warning to students and political groups asking them to close their offices in universities within three days. On April 19, 1980, several universities were taken over by the Islamic Student Associations. Ayatollah Mahdavi Kani ordered the Pasdaaraan [the Guardians Corps] and Forces of Revolutionary Committees to enter universities. Fights broke out among Hezbollahi elements and students and many students were injured. On April 21, Ayatollah Khomeini demanded the "leftist" groups to stop "opposing the Islamic purge [Paaksaazi-ye Eslaami]," otherwise he would utter "the last word." Resisting occupation and closedown of universities, hundreds of students were injured and several were killed in clashes. On April 22, supporting attacks on student groups, President Abolhassan Banisadr declared "the birth of Government Sovereignty" [velaadate haakemiyate dolat] and termed these developments "a Cultural Revolution." On April 24, protesting the mounting death and injuries in universities, the Managing Council of Tehran University resigned. Four days later, the Revolutionary Council ordered universities to close starting on June 5, 1980.
Students resisted both the order and attacks on universities. For more than two weeks, there were bloody clashes among Hezbollahi elements and students of different political persuasions. Islamic associations were used to identify, report, attack, and help arrest non-Islamic students and sabotage their organized political and cultural activities.(14) This was the first time in the history of the Iranian student movement that a part of the movement was used against itself. On May 12, 1980, an entity at the time called the Edaareh-ye Tahkim va Vahdat-e Anjoman-haaye Eslaami [The Office of Consolidation and Unity of Islamic Associations] announced that their attacks on universities were in line with the orders from Imam Khomeini. On June 5, all universities were shut down. Two days later, Ayatollah Khomeini argued that universities should not open until they were purged of un-Islamic elements and grounds were laid for an Islamic education. (15) On June 12, Ayatollah Khomeini established the Shoraaye Enqelaabe Farhangi [The Council for Cultural Revolution, hereafter CCR] for preparing for the Islamization of universities.
Universities remained closed for over two years. During this period, the CCR engaged in a review of all programs in universities. Committees, including Islamic students, were established to review faculty and students' activities and beliefs. Many activist students and faculty members were fired and/or arrested for their affiliations with political groups. This was the end of the independent student movement in Iran. In 1983, some members of the ruling clerics believed that "politics is for the clergy and students should be followers." (16) Ayatollah Khomeini opposed this view and maintained that students should remain politically active, but within an Islamic framework and at the service of the revolution.
3. 3. Student Organizations as the Arm of the State: When universities re-opened in 1982, they were purged of leftist, nationalist, secular, and opposition students and faculties. Female students were barred from studying certain disciplines, like agriculture, engineering and the law. (17) New criteria for student admission and faculty recruitment were added. In addition to meeting educational criteria, students had to be committed to the Islamic values and have a letter of recommendation from their local mosque or a respected and known religious member of their communities. New faculty members were required to take an ideological test before being hired. Up until the death of Ayatollah Khomeini on June 3, 1989, these restrictions remained in force, though both students and the faculty had devised mechanisms of neutralization and resistance to them.
During this period, numerous Islamic student associations were established within colleges. New quotas were established for admission of members of Basij [Mobilization Forces] and Paasdaaraan units, and high-ranking government officials whose educational degrees were far below the level traditionally required for the positions they occupied. In later years, war veterans and their family members also received special quotas. Students admitted through this policy began to fill in the Islamic Associations in universities. These associations helped government officials recruit students not only for participation in the war with Iraq, but also for various newly established revolutionary institutions such as Sepaah Paasdaaraan and Jahaad-e Saazandegi (Construction Corps).(18) They also prepared students to participate in government rallies, report on anti-government activities of students and criticisms of Islam and the state ideology by faculty members, and implement state gender policies by monitoring male-female interactions among students. Offices like "Islamic Associations, "Paayegaah-e Moqaavemat-e Eslaami" [Forces of Islamic Resistance], "Jahaad-e Daaneshgaahi" [University Holy War], and "Student Basij" were all working together to maintain a tight grip on the pulse of student deeds and thoughts on the campuses.
It is at this historical juncture that the student movement, formerly an active, independent, creative, and anti-establishment force, was transformed into a watchdog of the state whose main task was to mobilize support for, and suppress the opposition to, the state. This transformation did not go unnoticed even by Islamic activists. In 1991, Abdolkarim Soroush complained of lack of intellectual and ideological creativity and activism among Muslim students in universities.(19) In the past two years, Abbas Abdi, Seyed Hashem Aghajari, Heshmatollah Tabarzadi, all active members of these Islamic associations, have begun testifying to the historical damage to the student movement as a result of this close affiliation with the state. (20)
3.4. The Daftar-e Tahkim-e Vahdat [The DTV]: On September 10, 1979, the representatives of Islamic Student Associations held a national seminar whose participants included the following students: Ebrahim Asgharzadeh, Mohsen Mirdamadi, and Abbas Abdi. These students proposed and approved the establishment of the "Etehaadiyeh Anjoman-haaye Eslaami Daaneshjooyaan va Saayer-e Maraakez-e 'Amoozesh-e 'Ali-ye digar" [the Union of Islamic Associations of University Students and Other Higher Educational Centers], in order to strengthen Islamic student associations and help the development of the Islamic revolution. In order to abbreviate and convey the mission of the new organization, it was called "Daftar-e Tahkim-e Vahdat" [The Office for Consolidation and Unity, hereafter DTV]. The DTV has been the largest and most active umbrella student organization in Iran since the revolution. It includes a number of students from the MSFIL and has become the most influential group after the takeover of the US Embassy.
In the first decade of the revolution, the DTV was closely affiliated with the radical clerics and many of its members occupied government positions. It participated in parliamentary and presidential elections of 1983 and 1987 by presenting its own list of candidates. Currently, it has 50 voting member associations representing state universities and 30 non-voting associations representing Islamic Azaad universities (which has branches in major cities in the country). Islamic associations in the latter universities, numbering 70 according to its Chancellor, do not have the same level of freedom enjoyed by students in state universities. Student organizations in the Islamic Azaad universities are controlled tightly by the conservative clerics in the IR, and the university leadership uses heavy-handed disciplinary measures against students engaged in any protest, political or non-political. (21) In all universities, lack of freedom of expression remains a consistent student complaint. The Komiteh Enzebaati [Disciplinary Committee] in universities has become a major source of censorship and suppression of freethinking. Students who raise undesirable issues in class or among themselves will be called in later for the violation of unwritten speech codes. (22)
Concerned about the radical influence and left-leaning tendencies of the DTV, the Jame'eh-ye Roohaaniyat-e Mobaarez (The Militant Clergy Association, hereafter as JRM) and its conservative ally, the Jamiyat-e Motalefeh Eslaami (the Society of Islamic Coalition, hereafter JME) felt the need to influence developments in universities and gain support for their programs among students. In 1979, with the encouragement from Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Seyed Ali Khamenei, a student named Heshmatollah Tabarzadi and a number of his friends, who had earlier worked in the Markaze Shohadaaye Haftaado-dutan [The Cultural Center for 72 Martyrs] and had close ties to them, joined the DTV's Central Council. (23) Within the Council, Tabarzadi promoted policies countering the leftist students. Soon the DTV had two unannounced factions: Khate Emaami-ha [The Line of Imam Students], associated with the leftist faction, and the more conservative and smaller faction supporting the JRM. Tabarzadi represented the latter faction. This faction started its own separate activities in 1983.(24)
After 1988, when the JRM broke into two factions during the third parliamentary elections and the Majma-e Roohaaniyoon-e Mobaarez-e Tehran (Tehran Militant Clerics League, hereafter MRMT) was created, the DTV moved closer to the MRMT. With the decline of the leftist faction's fortune during 1989-1996, the DTV lost its influence within the government - an issue I will discuss later. Many of its influential members began careers in political journalism and joined the leftist papers such as Salaam and Asr-e Maa. Some joined followers of Abdolkarim Soroush in the monthly Kiyaan.
3.5. The Tabarzadi Group or the EEADD: In 1987, Heshmatollah Tabarzadi broke rank with the DTV. He established the Ettehaadiyeh Eslaami-ye Anjoman-haaye Daaneshjooyaan-e Daaneshgaah-haa va Maraakez-e 'Amoozesh-e 'Ali [Islamic Union of Associations of University Students and Higher Educational Centers, known as Tabarzadi Group] and himself became its first General Secretary. When he graduated from the university, Tabarzadi changed the name of the association to Ettehaadiyeh Eslaami-ye Anjoman-haaye Daaneshjooyaan va Daanesh-'amookhtegaan-e Daaneshgaah-haa va Maraakez-e 'Amoozesh-e 'Ali [the Islamic Union of Islamic Associations of Students and Alumni of Universities and Other Higher Educational Centers, hereafter EEADD], thus enabling it to remain in operation.
Although the EEADD sounded like a student organization, it was not. Article 12 of its constitution stipulated that "the organization consists of members from the following six groups: university students, teachers, educated [Farhangiyaan], university alumni [Daanesh-'amookhtegaan], workers, and civil servants."(25) The EEADD's strength was in its vocal, ambitious, astute character of its secretary, not in its small following, which did not even compare with the DTV. In 1988, it published its first magazine, Naameh-ye Payaam-e Daaneshjoo-ye Basiji.
3.6. Student Apathy and Alienation: A general characteristic of student movements is their criticism of the establishment. These movements are often critical of conditions harmful to freedom of thinking, growth of knowledge, and the development of society. When a student movement loses this criticality and becomes associated with the establishment, it no longer attracts students' attention. One of the reasons we see no sign of a lively student movement during 1981-1989 in Iran is that student activism became a part of the government structure. When the structure of universities and their curriculum are controlled by the state, it is no surprise that there are no independent student movements.
In the decade and a half after the Cultural Revolution, the student movement was an "official movement" in which student organizations were part of the government structures. Their members were screened for their ideological loyalty and were mobilized for official causes.(26) This resulted in alienation of the majority of students from these bodies. Rampant fear of members of Islamic student associations as spies for government and the heavy presence of government agents on campuses resulted in widespread apathy and political disenchantment. These associations had lost their appeal as organizations in which genuine student concerns were to be addressed and issues were to be analyzed critically and creatively - functions usually associated with student organizations around the world. (27)
4. The Student Movement during Rafsanjani's Presidency
Up until now, the political tendencies and conflicts within the ruling clergy coexisted without any open confrontation. Ayatollah Khomeini was able to skillfully mediate or suppress them, if necessary. Also, all political factions and influential leaders in the IRI courted Islamic Student Associations, even though there were efforts to exploit these organizations for factional causes. With Khomeini's death in June 1989, these conflicts and tendencies erupted. Factionalism began to shape the events of the next decade. Universities did not remain unaffected by this development. Islamic Associations in universities began to reflect these political tendencies more clearly. There were two visible trends among the student organizations. Students following the first trend viewed and supported the clergy as the true representative of Islamic ideals and saw their task as acting in the interest of the state.(28) Students following the second trend believed that they were revolutionary vanguards who should remain vigilant against the penetrating forces of the enemies, as well as uphold the original values of the revolution. (29) The former was under the influence of the JRM and the latter was close to the MRMT and the MSFIL. The former group was also receiving support and encouragement from the JME. At this juncture, Tabarzadi's EEADD was supportive of Rafsanjani and worked closely with the rightist faction (which included both the JME and the JRM).
Prior to his death, Khomeini had ordered a revision of the constitution, thus preparing the ground for his political absence. Immediately after his death, the revised constitution was approved, Khamenei was promoted to the rank of Ayatollah and appointed as the Leader, and Rafsanjani was elected as the new President. At this time, Khamenei and Rafsanjani felt that they had to do away with the unpredictability and instability of the earlier revolutionary policies, which were effective at destroying the old structures but detrimental to normalization of the status of the IR in the world scene. Rafsanjani gathered a coalition of technocrats interested in reconstructing the war economy by privatizing industries, attracting foreign capital, reorganizing earlier labor-management relationships, and reversing the declining standard of living. To achieve these objectives, the IR also had to warm up to the West by toning down the revolutionary rhetoric in its foreign policy and normalizing its relationships with the conservative Arab countries in the region.
The most visible characteristic of new developments was a departure from the past revolutionary policies and a return to normalcy. Radical individuals who had served in high-ranking positions during Khomeini's rule were isolated and pushed out of the mainstream. Meritocracy and specialization were to replace mere revolutionary commitment and loyalty to clergy as criteria for appointment to government positions. Student radicalism was also to be controlled. Starting on November 4, 1991, the government brought the anniversary of the Embassy takeover under its own control, thus signaling the end to the radicalism of the DTV.
These policies and changes did not sit well with the conservative clerics in the JRM and merchants affiliated with the JME. Though their slogan during the fifth parliamentary election was "Follow the Imam, obey the Leadership, and support Hashemi," they did not appreciate Rafsanjani's cultural openness and reliance on technocratic solutions to economic matters. Even during the election the hard-liners discovered that their tactical alliance might not work well for them. They changed their slogan to "social justice and extension of popular participation and supervision."(30) These developments impacted Islamic associations and their memberships. While radical students in the DTV questioned the political aspects of some of these policies, others were concerned with their resultant economic displacement among social groups. In general, radical students began to feel divorced from the rightist faction. They complained of corruption by government officials both inside and outside of universities and argued for protection of the poor in the face of the newly adopted economic liberalization. These complaints were expressed through writing and lecturing.
Students affiliated with the JRM, who were originally supporters of Rafsanjani and had helped him and Khamenei to isolate the leftist faction in the fourth parliamentary elections in 1991, expressed concerns about cultural laxity and financial corruption among Rafsanjani allies in the government. In 1994, the EEADD engaged in the most daring political challenge to the Kaargozaaraan-e Saazandegi [Executives of Construction].(31) They made a series of allegations against Rafsanjani family, his associates, and the Bonyaad Mostazafaan va Jaanbaazaan [Foundation of the Oppressed and War Veterans, hereafter BMJ] in the Naameh-ye Payaam-e Daaneshjoo-ye Basiji. The right began to fight back. After an early complaint, Tabarzadi had to drop the word "Basiji" from the title of the weekly. Later, it was warned that it should stop "telling lies and defaming public officials." Continuing its revelations, the EEADD was forced to vacate its office because it was owned by the BMJ. In June 1995, the Ansar ransacked their office and several members were injured. No one was arrested. In 1996, the Daftar-e Rahbari [The Office of Leadership] informed Tabarzadi that "his work was no longer satisfactory to them," (32) thus cutting any relationship that had existed up to that point. Two weeks later, Naameh-ye Payaam-e Daaneshjoo was banned and Tabarzadi was barred from serving as an editor for five years.
5. The Student Movement during Khatami's Presidency
5.1. Structural Changes in the Iranian universities and Society: Khatami's election in 1997 was a turning point in the life of the student movement in the IRI. The Iran of 1997 was no longer the same country inherited by Khomeini in 1979 or by Khamenei and Rafsanjani in 1989. The number of students in universities and higher education institutions, which originally declined from 140,000 before the revolution to 117,148 after the cultural revolution (1982-83 academic year), began to have an annual growth rate of 13 percent for the decade of 1980s. After the war with Iraq, the student body increased at a higher rate. Prior to Khatami's election [5/23/1997], there were 1,150,000 students in Iranian universities and higher education institutions.(33) Facing increasing unemployment, high inflation, and bleak economic outlook, many students had lost hope in being able to secure a decent future.(34) Alienation, disillusion, frustration, depression, and deviance among youth of all ages had increased considerably. Iranian journals were full of reports of despair, anomie, and hopelessness among the youth.(35) Social problems were aggravated by vigilantes' constant intrusion into the lives of the youth and women, who were forced to comply with strict Islamic codes of dress and behavior. With the doubling in size of the population between 1978 and 1996, the number of institutions of higher education increased as well. Since the revolution, the composition of the student body in universities has changed dramatically. During the Pahlavi era, most students entering the Iranian universities were males from urban centers. In the early years of the monarchy, most of these students were from upper middle and upper classes. After the Shah's White Revolution , more middle class and few bright lower class students found their way to universities. The oil boom of the 1970s opened universities to many more lower and lower-middle class students.
In the early 1980s, many secular students and those affiliated with non-Islamic political organizations were purged from universities. A significant number of upper and upper-middle class families sent their sons and daughters to universities abroad. As a result of this and other government policies, the number of rural and lower class students in state universities increased tremendously. The emphasis on moral admission standards, as well as the admission quotas for war veteran family members, Basijis, Paasdaars, and other favored groups, changed the character of the student body both qualitatively and quantitatively. Poorer but more traditional students entered these universities. Middle and upper middle class students failing to make it to state universities found it easier to pay higher tuition for the Islamic Azaad universities. In the second decade of the IR rule, another trend in the university admission emerged: increasing female admission to universities and in varied fields.(36) In 1999, for the first time in the history of the Iranian higher education, the number of female students admitted to universities surpassed the number of admitted male students by a figure of about 20,000. (37) This represents four percent higher admission rate for female students than that of male students.
5.2. Rebirth of Student Activism and the Conservative Reaction: The election of Mohammad Khatami as president was the result of an unprecedented coalition of several forces in the Iranian society: disenchanted and angry masses of youth and women, politically isolated and angry supporters of the Islamic left (the DTV, the MRMT, and the Saazemaan-e Mojaahedin-e Enqelaab-e Eslaami [the Islamic Revolution Holy Warriors Organization, hereafter SMEE]), the Kaargozaaraan-e Saazandegi, the NAI, and a large segment of the Iranian public variably dissatisfied with the policies of the IR. Khatami's election gave rise to an unprecedented new form of student activism in universities. In fact, student participation in the election and support for Khatami were crucial in bringing him to power.
The movement that brought Khatami to power reshaped the landscape of student organizations. Since Tabarzadi was no longer a student and had lost his membership in the DTV, he began to encourage the development of a series of parallel student organizations outside of the EEADD. Though he was hoping to push his agenda through these organizations, the newly established organizations took on a life of their own and became major players in the events of July 1999. These organizations included the Jebhe-ye Mottahede-ye Daaneshjoo-i" [the United Student Front], the Anjoman-e Defaa az Zendaaniyaane Siyaasi [Society for Defense of Political Prisoners, hereafter ADZS] and the Anjoman-e Daaneshjooyaan-e Roushanfekr [Society of Intellectual Students, hereafter ADR] - all three members of the EEADD. Manouchehr Mohammadi organized the latter two. Mohammadi was a Basiji student who had entered the university through the quota system allocated for Basij. He was one of the founders of a student organization originally supported by the conservative faction in the IR: the Jaame'eh-ye Eslaami-ye Daaneshjooyaan-e Daaneshkadeh-ye Eqtesaad-e Daaneshgaah-e Tehran [Society of Islamic Students in the College of Economics, Tehran University]. Mohammadi failed to pass several of his courses and was first put under probation and then expelled from the university. (38)
The conservatives viewed these developments with alarm and surprise. In reaction to widespread support for Khatami in universities, the conservative members of the Majles introduced a new bill for establishing a Basij unit in each university in order "to defend the achievements of the Islamic Revolution and advance Basiji thinking." The measure was meant to keep the activities of the DTV and other student groups under control. On October 4, 1998, the bill was approved. To supervise the implementation of these units, the "Shoraaye 'Ali-ye Hamaahangi va Hemaayat az Basij-e Daaneshjoo-i" [the High Council for Coordination and Support of Student Basij] was established. (39) A major task of these units, in addition to encouraging student participation in "educational plans," was to engage in "disciplinary activities" in universities. The DTV opposed the new measure. Referring to a measure approved by the Council for Cultural Revolution in 1990, according to which the Basiji could recruit members in universities, the DTV questioned the motivation behind the new bill. According to the DTV's statement, the new measure was to help conservatives to "monopolize universities."(40) In response, the political officer of the Student Basij in Tehran University indicated that the earlier measure did not allow it "to play its role in a desired manner."(41) These new Basiji unites became a major source of grievance for students on campuses because their activities were interruptive, suppressive, and militaristic.
Despite these measures, the conservatives could not lose sight of the great danger re-emergence of student activities posed for the regime. A month after the establishment of these units, Hojatoleslam Irandoust argued that their existence was necessary for "Islamization of universities." He warned: "student organizations in universities are like a two-edged sword. If the management in the university does not pay adequate attention, they can become a major obstacle in the implementation of [Basij] units. Political organizations are necessary but the danger and damages of non-Islamic organizations are grave."(42)
To counter Khatami's liberalization policies and dampen any hope of revitalization of the opposition to the regime, a group of intelligence officers intensified their earlier policy of physical elimination of intellectual and political opposition to the IR. On November 22, 1998, a group of agents brutally murdered Daryoush Forouhar, the leader of the Hezbe Mellate Iran [the Nation Party of Iran], and his wife Parvaneh Eskandari. A few weeks later, several Iranian intellectuals, Majid Sharif, Mohammad Jafar Pooyandeh, and Mohammad Mokhtari were abducted and murdered. These murders, and the manner, in which they were carried out, shocked the nation. The revelation that agents from the Ministry of Intelligence were responsible for these murders added to the public demands for accountability in the government and security for citizens. Public protests during the funeral services of these personalities added fuel to the burning desires of the nation for political freedom and punishment of the perpetrators. Students became an important element of these protests. These events brought various students groups closer to one another and fueled their nationalist sentiments. Tabarzadi's EEADD, some elements of the DTV, and many other students started to develop a sympathetic attitude toward nationalist, secular, and leftist opposition.(43) Pictures of Mossadeq, a national hero shunned by the conservatives, were displayed in student rallies, even in rallies by the DTV.
These events, and the repressive measures taken by the conservative forces in the judiciary, security forces, and the Ministry of Intelligence, resulted in further radicalization of the students in universities. The DTV became an active supporter of Khatami's reform measures and engaged in numerous protests opposing conservative attacks on his policies. Whenever there was a confrontation between Khatami's supporters and conservatives, students were quick to defend socio-political freedom, human rights, and democratic change. Heshmatollah Tabarzadi, the leader of the EEADD, became a Khatami supporter and increased his political activities. He also had a change of heart regarding the Velaayate Faqih [the rule of supreme jurisprudence] - something he had supported and worked for in the past. In several demonstrations he issued resolutions calling for an election and limitation on the tenure of the Leadership, i.e. the Vali-ye Faqih. In April, 1999, he began a new paper called Hoviyat-e Khish, in which he continued to attack "political despotism" in the IR and explained how the ruling groups had abused religious sentiments for political gains. The paper was banned after three issues and Tabarzadi and Hossein Kashani, its editor, were arrested in June 1999.
6. The July Protests
6.1. Politics of Protest in Universities: The emergence of popular protest against the IR government in Iran is not new. Since the death of Ayatollah Khomeini, the IRI has experienced several mass protests.(44) Many of these protests have been economic in nature. The economic hardships resulting from the war, mismanagement, corruption, and decline in industrial production, and increasing migration of the rural population to cities have eroded the aspirations of the disadvantaged Iranians who bought into the popular promises of the revolution. This latest student protest, though not motivated by economic factors, is the last in the list of uprisings in the IRI. Though this latest uprising has a lot to do with political developments in the country, it represents the strongest manifestation of the structural crises unsettling the IRI.
To understand the complicated nature of the latest protests and how they evolved, it is important to make some distinctions between different kinds of student protests in the IRI. Grievances provoking student reactions have been of two kinds: political and non-political. Non-political grievances include lack of resources, teachers, adequate housing, quality food, and mistreatment of students. The government has always been sensitive to any collective action by students, even non-political ones. Therefore, even non-political demands have been treated as political, and student rallies for such grievances have often been quickly dispersed or crushed brutally in cases of non-compliance. While Ayatollah Khomeini was alive, there were no serious student collective actions against the IR government. Most student rallies were orchestrated by the government and in support of its causes.
Student rallies against state policies began during Rafsanjani administration. Again, as indicated above, many of these rallies were factional in nature and involved students from the DTV. However, in the early 1990s we begin to see independent student rallies against university policies affecting student lives. Iranian universities began to experience two sets of protest distinguishable by their factional nature. Non-factional protests are those not motivated or supported by any of the political factions among the ruling clerics. They may or may not be political, but are treated as political and are more threatening to the IR than the factional ones. If not controlled quickly, they have a tendency to tap into the general frustrations generated by the political and economic policies of the IR. The state is very keen to thwart these sources of dissatisfaction and not allow them to surface.
These types of rallies were usually spontaneous and in response to problems affecting students' academic or physical well being. They were often small, involving 50-500 students, and took place in most universities around the country. For instance, in 1997 there were sit-ins against food poisoning, water poisoning, and lack of teachers, laboratories, and classrooms in many universities. (45) The two biggest non-political grievances causing serious difficulties for the regime were the housing issue in the Shahid Beheshti University and the quality of food in Tehran University in January 1997. When hard-line vigilantes intervened and attacked students, the protests turned violent. Students were beaten, windows were broken, and food was thrown on the floor. (46) The last two years have seen numerous rallies and sit-ins in universities, especially in the Islamic Azaad universities. A major cause of these is the non-responsiveness of the officials to students' concerns. Just prior to the July unrest in Tehran University, there were several public protests by students in the Islamic Azaad universities in Lar, Qum, Tehran, Qa-emshahr, and Mash-had.(47)
Factional protests are often prompted by political disputes outside of universities. Student organizations, especially the DTV, which is a supporter of leftist faction, have been dragged into the fight, thus engaging in building pressure against the conservatives. For instance, this year students held numerous rallies, issued several statements, and passed many resolutions against various conservative policies initiated by the Judiciary and the Majles for preventing the reformist from gaining power. These policies include the Guardian Council's Nezaarat-e Esteswaabi [Approbatory Supervision, based on which the Council can disqualify any candidate deemed undesirable without any explanation], the proposed Bill for Revision of the Press Laws, and the arrest of Hojatoleslam Kadivar and Tehran Mayor Gholamhossein Karbaschi.(48) The strategy of the reformists, as formulated by Said Hajarian, one of the closest allies and advisors to President Khatami, is "to build up pressure at the bottom but negotiate at the top."(49) As I will discuss in the next section, the July events started as a factional protest, went through a non-factional phase, and ended by a factional coalition. Though they began as a spontaneous reaction to the brutal attack on student hostels, parts of events were factionally engineered.(50)
6.2. Developments Leading to the Attack: Conservative forces had been discussing the idea of a massive intervention in order to intimidate the enemies of the Valet-e Faqih, with a justification religiously known as "Nosrat-e belra'b" [victory by using fear], for sometimes. (51) During the months May and June 1999, their newspapers published numerous complaints against student activities violating the sanctities of Islam and the IR. These complaints often carried a warning that if the Khatami administration did not stop these student demonstrations, "people," "families of martyrs," and "devotees of Islam and the revolution" would intervene and take the matters in their own hands. On May 5, 1999, Abrar, a newspaper affiliated with the conservative faction, went further and predicted that these "refuses of the World Arrogance" [a reference to the United States] would be purged from the student scene "in an appropriate time" or "even maybe soon." There were countless hints in other conservative papers that things in the student quarters, especially regarding the DTV and student groups organized outside of universities - like groups affiliated with Heshmatollah Tabarzadi and Manouchehr Mohammadi - were getting out of hand and an intervention was necessary. (52)
On July 7, 1999, the Majles approved the outlines of a tough new press law. The day before, Salaam, a radical newspaper run by leftist cleric Ayatollah Mohammad Mousavi-Khoeiniha, had published a letter written by Said Emami, the intelligent officer who had masterminded the serial murders and allegedly killed himself in prison. The letter basically argued against the freedom of the press and for tougher press laws. Following an intelligence ministry complaint for publishing a "top secret" document, Salaam was ordered closed.
6.3. The Attack on the Student Dormitory: At 9:30 P.M. on July 8, 1999, some 200 students, mostly affiliated with the DTV, staged a peaceful protest in front of their dormitories at the Koo-ye Daaneshgaah-e Tehran in Amiraabaad. Students left their compound and moved their rallies into Jalal Al-Ahmad Avenue. Local security forces intervened and demanded students return to their hostels. The students ended their demonstration and returned to the campus. A few students remained in front of the dormitory and continued their conversations. Around 00:45 A.M. on July 9, the Acting Chief of Tehran Police arrived on the scene in plain clothes. With him, large groups of security forces also arrived. He engaged in a discussion with the students. The director of the dormitory complex also arrived and attempted to persuade the Acting Chief to move his forces away. The dormitory was surrounded by security forces [Niroohaaye Entezaami], the anti-riot police [yegaan-e Vizheh], and some plain-clothed individuals, whom were thought to be the Ansar. Both groups were engaged in shouting slogans for and against political freedom, student movement, and Khatami's reforms. The situation was tense and a serious confrontation was imminent. Fear spread among the students and many began to join the crowd outside of the compound.
Having learned about a planned attack that would "finish the matter once and for all,"(53) several officials from Khatami administration rushed to the scene in the hope of defusing the situation.(54) The Interior Minister ordered the security forces to leave the scene but they refused. With the intervention of Mostafa Tajzadeh, the Political and Security Deputy of Interior Ministry, students returned to their dormitories assured that there would not be any attack or retaliation. Convinced that there would be no attack anymore, government officials also left the scene. However, the security forces and the plain clothed forces remained.
By 3:30 A.M., "an organized force of some 400 men - wearing uniforms of black trousers and white shirts and carrying distinctive blue batons - broke into the dormitories, systematically ransacked student rooms, and assaulted students indiscriminately. They beat them with the blue batons and threw some of them out of windows. They also took many students into detention." (55) In words of a lawyer and Human Rights Watch researcher, the attackers were "not the irregular mob of zealots known as the Ansar-e Hezbollah," as was perceived and reported by most media. This "was an altogether more disciplined and more sinister force that was bused to the student dormitories for a specific task, carried it out with ruthless efficiency, and then withdrew as stealthily as it had appeared, taking with it dozens of students who have not been seen since."(56) All newspaper accounts refer to this group as "pressure groups" or the Ansar-e Hezbollah. A clue to their identity is found in the Report issued by the Investigative Committee of the Supreme National Security Council [hereafter SNSC]. The report speaks of two kinds of "plain-clothed individuals" at the scene, a group affiliated with the security forces and another "from the known groups." The report also refers to "some other individuals" and to the acronym "NOPO" and the presence of its commander.(57) As we learn from a short note in Iran Farda magazine, NOPO stands for Niroo-haaye Vizheh-ye Payro-e Velaayat [Special Forces Following the Supreme Leader]. This is a secretly trained force for special operations.(58)
The attacks were massive, damages vast, and casualties high. Students themselves were not the only targets. Rooms were searched, personal properties were destroyed, cash found in the rooms was taken, and pictures and books were torn and/or burned. Ten buildings and 800 rooms were damaged. Windows of some houses and cars parked in Kargar Shomaali Avenue were also broken. The injured were taken to Shariati and Imam Khomeini hospitals. According to an official in Shariati Hospital, most injured were transferred to Security Forces' Hospital immediately.(59) Iranian newspapers reported five people killed and dozens more wounded.(60) Security forces denied the killing and claimed one death and three injured.
These attacks were so severe and the damages were so extensive that they could neither be covered up nor left without a response. Government officials and religious leaders began to offer their apologies to the students for what had taken place. The Minister of Culture and Higher Education and the chancellor of Tehran University as well as the heads of 18 colleges offered their resignation in protest. Khatami condemned the deadly raid and asked for calm. The news of the attack brought thousands of students together in protest, first in Tehran University, and later in universities in eight other cities. Events in Tabriz also had turned violent and claimed a life. However, they did not receive national attention until days after the unrest ended.
The Islamic Student Association of the University of Tehran condemned the attack and called for a sit-in protest on campus at 11:00 A.M.(61) Students began to differ on how to proceed. The DTV wanted to stay on campus and press for their demands. A group of students, referred to by a report as "populists," wanted to expand the protest and involve the public.(62) While the former group stayed on campus and continued its protest, the latter group took to the streets. Thousands of students took to the streets to demand the dismissal of police chief Hedayat Lotfian, the man behind most crackdowns of student protests in Tehran.(63) The government said it had arrested a Tehran police commander and his deputy, and a third officer had already been disciplined over the bloody incident. However, it refused to meet students' other demands, especially removal of Lotfian. Numerous Khatami supporters went to student rallies and tried to convince them to remain calm and not allow "saboteurs" and "infiltrators" take advantage of their cause.
Student demands kept changing with the developments. Their original protest prior to the raid was against the new press law and the closure of Salaam. After the raid, their demands centered around the return of victim's bodies, removal of the head of security forces, identification and punishment of plain clothed individuals involved in the raid, the accountability for the attack by the Leader, an apology to students for insults they were subjected to during the raid, medical and psychological attention for the injured, compensation for damages, and so on. In the subsequent days, as the government remained slow in responding to their demands, the students became bolder and more frustrated, thus using more critical and radical slogans. With the increasing violence from the security forces and vigilantes, student slogans also became more violent in both expression and content.
On July 12, Ayatollah Khamenei addressed a select group of students, condemning the use of force by police as "unacceptable and warning the students of plots by foreign enemies. He also asked the Basij and security forces to deal with "agitators" and "seditious elements" who had penetrated the student ranks vigorously. The government announced a ban on demonstrations to quell the unrest. Up to this point, student demonstrations were spontaneous reaction to the attack. However, from this point on, the events enter into a different mode.
6.4. The Crackdown: Cutting the Losses and Going on an Offensive: The conservative forces had planned to punish students and teach them a lesson so that there would be no more student protests. They made three costly mistakes. First, they assumed that it was the end of the semester and final exams had finished. True, it was the end of the semester but for some reasons final exams had been postponed for a week, and students were still preparing for exams. Second, they assumed that an attack on students would go un-noticed by the public and there would be no major reaction, as was the case with previous raids. Events turned out to be different. On that night, people in Amiraabaad area came to the protection of the students, joined them in their protest, and gave refuge to students running from police attacks. Third, up until now the Khatami administration had refused to intervene in various operations by the Ansar and security forces. The conservative thought that this time would not be any different. In fact, it was. Knowing that a plot was in the work, Khatami administration's officials showed up on the scene and attempted to avert the raid. This intervention, plus active exposure given to the events by the reformist newspapers like Neshat, Khordad, and Sob-he Emrooz, publicized and exposed the nature of the operation. The depth of brutality applied, the identity of the forces involved, and the deterioration of the relationships between the two major political factions within the IR were also exposed.(64) In the words of an anonymous university professor in Tehran, quoted by a reporter, ''now Khatami is the hero again, the reformist students the martyrs and the traditionalists (conservatives) the bad guys and the big losers,''(65)
Having lost the battle in the first round, the conservatives pulled their act and forces together and put a damage control mechanism into place. They saw to it that the public sympathy toward students be transformed into antipathy by creating the image of imminent political chaos and social instability. On July 13, when thousands of students gathered outside Tehran University defying the ban on demonstrations, the club-wielding Ansars provoked student rallies into violence. Anti-riot police interrupted sit-ins rallies, attacked students, and arrested as many as they could. While the DTV attempted to keep students calm and inside the campus, some students responded to the Ansar, Basijis, and security forces. Violence broke out and the situation got out of control. Students barricaded themselves inside the campus and neighboring streets. Police sealed off the area. Armed with batons and tear gas, riot police, Basiji force, and the Ansar battled with students in the streets surrounding Tehran University. A cinema and several banks were vandalized, and a dozen cars were set on fire. Protests spread to other cities despite appeals for calm by the clerical, religious-nationalist, and DTV leaders. Soon, the IR government whose Secretary of the Expediency Council, Mohsen Rezaie, had characterized as "one in which there is zero possibility of violence" just a month earlier, was engulfed in the most massive violent protest since its inception. (66)
Khatami supporters, the DTV, and many professional and cultural associations defending reforms planned a demonstration supporting students for Tuesday, July 13. The security forces and conservatives lost no time in hijacking this event. They announced a larger and wider demonstration in support of the "system" for Wednesday, July 14, and all other demonstrations were banned. The Khatami administration, his reformist supporters, and even the DTV felt bounded to support the call. Tens of thousands of Khamenei supporters and government functionaries were bussed to Tehran. The demonstration was meant to be a show of force and determination by the conservative forces and support for the Leader. Many Khatami supporters who showed up at the rally were identified and beaten up. Khatami's pictures were taken down and no slogan un-supportive of Ayatollah Khamenei was allowed to be displayed. (67)
On July 19, Kayhan published the text of a letter written to President Khatami by 24 senior officers in the Sepaah-e Paasdaaraan four days after the attack. The letter denounced the President for policies that were heading the IR toward anarchy. Warning that they could not "stand by idly watching" the ruins, Paasdaaraan warned the President that they might have to take matters into their own hands because their "reservoir of patience" was "running low." Two weeks later, the Ansar official paper, Ya Lessarsat al-Hossein, suggested "arming the Ansar for a better defense of the revolution" - a suggestion which had been made to the SNSC a decade ago.(68) A week later, re-affirmiting their commitment to the "Imam" and the "system," 50,000 Basijis gathered in a military camp in Tehran and engaged in exercises in preparation for fighting the enemies of the revolution. (69)
6.5. The Blame Game, Continued Arrests, and Closed Door Trials: In the subsequent days, the Intelligence Ministry called on all Iranians to turn in protesters. The United States and other foreign countries were blamed for instigating unrest. The Investigative Committee established for looking into events by the SNSC, chaired by the President, issued its report.(70) The report said little about the causes of the unrest and the identity of plain-clothed security forces. It minimized the planned nature of the raid by faulting the agitated mood of the students and the presence of pressure groups on the scene.(71) It also mentioned that the security forces were not prepared for the task and that an acting commander had behaved inappropriately. Clearly, the report was a compromise between the members of the two factions in the SNSC.
The DTV accused the security forces and their allies, the Ansar, for being behind the original attack and later violence. Referring to the violence in Tehran, DTV spokesman Ali Afshari said: "Everything was suspect from the beginning. From the extent of the damage throughout Tehran and the speed with which it was carried out, it could not possibly have been the work of students." He claimed that "the way the riots spread into different neighborhoods was clearly the work of professionals."(72) Abbas Abdi, the editor of banned Salaam and one of the MSFIL, saw "the source of the attack in the same "clique" [Mahfel] who committed serial killings."(73) Mohammad Salaamati, the General Secretary of the SMEE, expressed the same view.(74)
While pro-Khatami papers claimed that the conservatives orchestrated the violence in a bid against Khatami government, the conservatives denied any responsibility and accused pro-Khatami papers of encouraging students and creating an atmosphere of crisis.(75) Asadollah Badamchian, one of the most influential leaders of the JME, argued that the "left" provoked the security forces to this action in order to create "a few martyrs" for their cause.(76) Masoud Dehnamaki, an Ansar leader, rejected any involvement by the Ansar and argued that "events were guided by the extreme left."(77) Ayatollah Jannati, the Chair of the Guardian Council, reduced the cause of the event to "mistakes by several officers on the scene" and criticized the report by the Investigative Committee of the SNSC. He stated that "this attack [on students] had nothing to do with the regime. Mistakes by a few officers have nothing to do with the government or the system."(78) In a statement issued on July 26, 1999, the Intelligence Ministry accused "the nationalists, Monaafeqin [a reference to the Mojaahedin-e Khalq-e Iran), Marxists, and communists, with the support of "imperialists and Zionists" of penetrating student ranks and planning to "create chaos" and "damage the Islamic system."
Conservative forces working in the Intelligence Ministry and Judiciary went on a broad offensive. Students were arrested in herds. Opposition leaders were either arrested or called in for interrogation. Complaints were lunched against editors and writers for their comments and views contrary to national interest, Islam, and the leadership. Salaam, which was supposed to resume publication during the unrest, remained closed, and later its owner was tried and convicted of violating press laws. Secret trials were held for student leaders. Several students were forced to confess to minor, and often irrelevant, contacts with the Iranian opposition abroad. On September 21, 1999, the head of Tehran's revolutionary tribunal claimed that his tribunal had exclusive jurisdiction over the student case and "he might or might not deem it necessary to consider the findings" of the Investigative Committee of the SNSC. He also announced that four alleged ringleaders of the unrest had been condemned to death at a closed-door hearing, without providing students' names.(79) This was the first announcement of the outcome of legal proceedings against the roughly 1,500 individuals arrested in connection with the riots. Another revolutionary court sentenced 21 students to prison sentences of between three months and nine years for simultaneous unrest in Tabriz. On October 17, 1999, the Tehran tribunal sentenced another student to two and half years in jail in connection with the unrest. On the same day, a report in Araya weekly indicated that Maryam (Malus) Radnia, a member of the "Shoraaye Daaneshjooyaan-e Motehassen" [Student Sit-In Council] involved in directing demonstrations, had been sentenced to death. On October 28, Quds daily reported that the revolutionary tribunal has sentenced Manouchehr Mohammadi, leader of the ADZS and ADR, to 13 years in prison. The news of these closed door trials, forced confessions, torture, and interrogation of arrested students have shocked Iranian intellectuals, opposition forces inside and outside the country, international human rights organization, and even foreign governments. They have asked that these convictions be overturned. President Khatami has expressed hope that the Leader would pardon these students and save them from the execution. The DTV has also denounced these trials and asked for open trials and better treatment of arrested students. The security forces have put a tight control over the information about the attack on the dormitory, police reaction, court procedures, and the students involved. On October 29, acting on a complaint by police over publication of the photos of the bloody attack, a court ordered a student magazine called Anjoman to be closed. (80)
6.6. Organization and Demands of Protesters: The emergence of these protests was both natural and accidental, just like the election of Mohammad Khatami to presidency in 1997. Natural because this is what happens when there are violations of basic human rights, political oppression, and economic inequality. Accidental because these protests were not planned. They were spontaneous reactions to harmful and threatening situations. The conservative might have had a plan of action but the students did not. Given the fact that the developments were momentum-driven rather than planned, it was no surprise that the government could end it quickly and effectively with less physical and human damage than is often seen in a similar situation.
Massive protests following the pre-mediated attack on the dormitory were spontaneous but lacked leadership and coordination between various student associations involved.(81) Even the SMEE, whose members have been implicated indirectly by the conservatives in encouraging student protests, acknowledges this fact. Behzad Nabavi, the leader of the organization, argued that if the student movement was not so diffused, the dormitory tragedy could have been prevented and the movement could have been guided through the turbulence.(82) Therefore, given the organizational nature of these protests, they had reached their limit. The students had suffered enormously and the regime was not willing to make any serious concession. The conservatives were determined to use massive force, if necessary, to end the riots. The students were disorganized and there was no plan of action. As the protests became violent and reached beyond the campus, support for the students paled and became limited and haphazard. Pro-Khatami forces, even those not affiliated with the establishment, were asking the students to refrain from violence and let calm prevail.(83) The DTV also issued numerous statements calling for calm and warning students against extremist actions "desired by the enemies of Islam and the Islamic system."
Public support for the protests was also lukewarm. After the initial open support for students who were beaten up in the dormitory, the public showed no strong desire for expanding these protests beyond campuses. As a primary school teacher put it in an interview with a Reuters' correspondent, "people do not see a bright future with these acts. There is no leadership, no organization. They are only afraid things will get worse than they already are."(84)
Although it is not my intention to analyze all student demands and slogans, it is important to pay attention to several important points about the nature of these demands and how they compared with earlier student uprisings (85): (a) The anti-imperialism and anti-Americanism of the pre-revolutionary student movement were absent. This time, it was in the government organized rallies that such slogans were used; (b) There were no slogans directly demanding the overthrow of the IR; (c) There were no slogans against Khatami and his administration. There were a number of slogans demanding the government to live up to its promise of a civil society; (d) Ayatollahs Khamenei, many officials affiliated with the conservative faction, conservative newspapers like Resaalat and Kayhan, and the Ansar were targets of attack by the students and were mentioned by name; (e) Students were asking the leaders of the IR to be accountable for their actions and/or step aside. There were numerous demands for good government. Opposition to despotic rule and return to democracy and pluralism were repeated themes; (f) Students were asking the public to join them and the police to stop the violation of citizens' rights; (g) Nationalist sentiments underlined many slogans; (h) Students connected their immediate concerns with those of political prisoners, including Abbas Amir Entezam, Gholamhossein Karbaschi, and Hojatoleslam Mohsen Kadivar, and for the victims of serial murders; (i) There was no slogan with clear ideological mark, except for references to Islam. There were references to the economic inequalities, social justice, and political democracy but none bore the mark of any ideological camp such as socialism, capitalism, or Marxism. There were a number of slogans demanding Islamic justice and using Islamic symbolism; (j) There were numerous slogans characterizing the IR as a system against rationality and modernity; (k) the underlying issues concerning students included political democracy and basic human rights such as freedoms of expression, assembly, and belief.
Except a direct attack on Ayatollah Khamenei and the demand for his removal, none of the above demands were new. For the past three years at least, students have been asking for transparency, accountability, integrity, and fairness in the government.
7. Where to from Here?
These latest student protests, which were caused by legitimate concerns and demands, had the potential to turn into a widespread general uprising at the national level. Once it began to spread to other campuses, and resonated with a public whose list of grievances were long, the regime realized the danger, and engineered an effective control plan in order to re-establish law and order in universities and give the image of being in control.
In the aftermath of these events, the IRI has begun a two-pronged strategy of using carrot and stick intermittently. On one hand, the security and intelligence forces have been interrogating, intimidating, and arresting students, as well as leaders, of the splinter groups such as Mohammadi's and Tabarzadi' organizations. They also have used the occasion to crackdown on the activities of nationalist opposition groups like the Hezb-e Mellat-e Iran, the Nehzate Azaadi-ye Iran, the Jebhe Melli Iran, and Pan Iranists. The Ministry of Intelligence continues to charge these groups with ties to the United States, Israel, and other foreign enemies. The government has also been calling members of the DTV for interrogation and forcing them to sign statements of non-participation in any future protest. These arrests, call-ins, and intimidation are often done without public announcement and exposure, though reports of them are often leaked to reformist papers supporting President Khatami. These measures are meant to weaken, discredit and frighten "ghayr-e khodi" [out-group] opposition groups and individuals, as opposed to "khodis" [in-group]).(86) The conservatives have made no secret of their determination to use all means available to maintain their control of political institutions of the IR and to allow no room for growth of secular and liberal Islamic opposition forces, especially among the students where they have the strongest support.
On other hand, calling for a cease-fire in the factional fight,(87) the conservatives have adopted a conciliatory and supportive attitude toward student groups affiliated with Islamic factions. The latter groups have also taken a similar approach. The DTV continues to criticize both the harsh security measures used against students and the "subversive radicalism and extremism of students who wish to destroy the Islamic system." In the wake of the bloody attack and its subsequent widespread protests, the conservatives have come to the conclusion that they have to get along with the reformist faction and work together against what they have termed "the third current," or "ghayr-e khodis," namely nationalists, secularists, Marxists, and independent activists who do not support the Islamic system.(88) This is a call that is received positively, but quietly, by the DTV too.(89)
Given the fact that students were a major force in the revolution and later in the establishment of an Islamic government, the IR cannot deny students the right to be political. Unlike the Pahlavi state whose aim was de-politicization of students, the IR has always supported politicization of students as long as their political activities supported the state ideology and policies. On numerous occasions the Islamic leaders have insisted that students remain politically active.(90) At the same time, the bitter experiences of the early years of the revolution, when various groups participating in the revolution demanded a share of power and opposed the establishment of a theocratic state, have made the leadership of the IR suspicious of any opposition outside of the establishment, be it from students or political parties. The IR cannot afford an independent student movement questioning its policies, programs, and legitimacy. It is because of this ambivalence that we have witnessed contradictory remarks by government officials regarding the politicization of student activities. On one hand, Khamenei and Rafsanjani argue that students should remain political. On the other hand, Ali Akbar Nateq Nouri, the parliament speaker and an important leader of the conservative coalition, tells the students to avoid engaging in politics.(91) One of the problems facing the IR is that the clerical leadership has had difficulty balancing its past with the future, its ideology with the practice, its revolutionary rhetoric with the realities of political stability, and its radicalism with its conservatism. The regime wants to have it both ways. It wants to claim that students are free to organize and be politically active, but only if they are Muslim and supporters of the IR. It wants to have an active student body, but only if its activities support the causes of the regime.
The upcoming parliamentary elections in February 1999 might create enough tensions in universities to instigate another student rebellion. While such a possibility is not remote, it is also certain that any student riot will be met by unprecedented security measures. The regime knows that once student riots begin in universities, they might easily spread to high schools and main streets. However, regardless of what the IR government wishes, it is on a path of increasing conflict with the students. Iran's population is very young and that is a source of a major problem for this regime. The Iranian youth are frustrated, angry, and restless. The more the IR tightens the security, thus limiting young students' freedoms, the more it adds to tensions which have already passed boiling level. These latest protests and the government reaction to them have radicalized students and given them more reasons to engage in future protests.
The immediate consequences of the suppression of this unrest are setbacks for the re-emerging independent student organizations and secular activists. In the short run, the emergence of independent, secular, and nationalist student movement in the IRI has been stopped in the embryonic stage. However, these events, and the level of frustration and resentment they have created, have laid the ground for simultaneous disillusionment from the factionally supported student organizations. Unconventional methods of resistance to state policies, especially those regarding socio-political freedoms and student life, will become more attractive to students who have already paid a high price for their protests. The current student organizations in universities are doomed for fractures and dismemberment. Given their continued reliance on the political factions within the establishment, and the conciliatory attitudes of their leaders regarding recent developments, they are bound to lose momentum, enthusiasm, and members. Their existence has become too dependent on political factions and their affiliated media.
It is hard to imagine that the suppressed and frustrated energies of politically disillusioned and physically beaten students will dissipate soon. Although it is hard to predict how and when they will be released, it is wrong to assume that they can be suppressed for long. If there is no natural process of democratization through which energies reserved in the student movement can be released gradually and consumed appropriately, these energies will explode as soon as they find an outlet for discharge. Social unrest in other social arenas or a disturbance within any university can ignite the fire and provide a natural outlet for them. What happened in Iranian universities this summer has laid the foundation for further disturbances that can only be prevented by genuine democratic process, not by political manipulation and restrictive rules. Completed on September 1999.
1 . See "Iran's second revolution," The Economist, July 17, 1999.
2. Patrick Clawson quoted by Ben Barber, "Hard-line Clerics Cling to Power," The Washington Times, July 15, 1999. Hammed Shahidian, "'Aqaaze Paayaan: be ou keh goft: "mikosham, mikosham..." [The Beginning of the End: To those who said: "I kill, I kill,..."]. To appear in Noghteh, No. 9. Part of this article was published in Arash, No. 71, and July 1999.
3. For articles on this issue, see Abdolreza Navvaah, "Daaneshjooyaan Saaketand," [Students are quiet] Jame'eh Saalem, No. 30, Esfand, 1375/2-1997; Morad Saqafi, "Daaneshjoo, Dolat, va Enqelaab" [The student, the state, and the revolution], Goft-o-Gu, No. 5, Fall, 1373/1994; and "The Political Inclinations of the Youth and the Students," Asr-e Ma, Vol. 2, No. 13, April 19, 1995.
4. R. Liyaqat, "Ela-le Bitavajohi-ye Daaneshgaahiyaan be Masaael-e Siyaasi" [Causes of University Students' Lack of Interest in Political Issues] Kalameh-ye Daaneshjoo, No. 8-9, Khordad 1373/6-1994.
5. Abdolreza Navvaah, "Daaneshjooyaan Saaketand," op. cit. Also, see Mohammad Malaki, "Barkhi Vaqaaye-e Jonbesh-e Daaneshjoo-i" [Some Events within the Student Movement], Iran Farda, No. 38, Aban and Azar, 1376/11-1997.
6. See Ervand Abrahamian, "The Guerrilla Movement in Iran, 1963-1977." MERIP Reports, No. 86, March-April 1980.
7. Morad Saqafi, "Demokraatizeh-shodane Jonbesh-e Daaneshjoo-i" [The Democratization of the Student Movement], Iran Farda, No. 38, Aban and Azar 1376/11-1997.
8. For a list of these protest rallies and their causes see Kaavoshgar; Journal of Iranian University Professors in Exile, No. 1, Spring 1987.
9. See reports of several cases in Ettelaat, 3-5-1358/7-25-1979, 6-8-1358/10-28-1979, and 8-8-1358/10-30-1979.
10. For the history and activities of these organizations see "Taarikhcheh-e Mobaarezaat-e Daaneshgaahiyaan-e Iran," [A History of Struggles by the Iranian University Professors], Kaavoshgar, No. 1 (spring 1366/1987), No. 2 (winter 1366/1987), and No. 3 (spring 1368/1989).
11. Changiz Pahlevan, "Nezaame Ostaadi dar daaneshgaah-haaye Iran" [Professorship in the Iranian Universities], Goft-o-Gu, No. 5, fall, 1373/1994.
12. See Daaneshjooyaan Payro-e Khate Emaam, Asnaad-e Laaneh-ye Jaasoosi [The Documents from the Nest of Spies (a reference to the US Embassy in Tehran)], Tehran: Daftar-e Enteshaaraat-e Eslaami, n.d.
13. Morad Saqafi believes that up until the end of the war with Iraq, it was the MSFIL who set the path for the formation of a revolutionary government. After the war, the government could no longer follow the revolutionary model proposed by the students. It had to separate its path from students and isolate them from decision making. See Morad Saqafi, "Daaneshjoo, Dolat, va Enqelaab," op. cit.
15. For a chronology of events, see three issues of Kaavoshgar, op. cit.
16. Morad Saqafi, "Daneshjoo, Dolat, va Enqelaab," op. cit.
17. See "Mas-aleh-ye Tahsilaate Keshaavarzi-ye Zanaan"[The Problem of Agricultural Education for Women], Daaneshgaah-e Enqelaab, No. 17, Aban 1361/11-1982. In 1372/1993, the Ministry of Culture and Higher Education removed most of these limitations.
18. "Payaame Saazemaane Mojaahedin-e Enqelaab-e Eslaami-e Iran be Ejlaas-e Saraasari-ye Etehaadieh-haaye Anjoman-haaye Eslaami-ye Daaneshjooyaan" [The Message of the Organization of Mojaahedin of the Islamic Revolution to the National Meeting of the Union of Islamic Student Associations], Asr-e Maa, No. 126, Mordad 27, 1378/8-18-1999.
19. Abdolkarim Soroush, "Taqlid va Tahqiq dar Solook-e Daaneshjoo-i" [Investigation and Imitation in Student Behavior], Kiyan, No. 1, Aban 1370/10-1991.
20. See Heshmatollah Tabarzadi, "Naaqofteh-haaye Enqelaab: Raahe-halli baraaye Saakhtaare Siyaasi-ye 'Ayandeh-ye Iran [Untold Aspects of the Revolution: A Solution for Future Political Structure of Iran], Hoviyate Khish, No. 3, Khordad 16, 1378/6-6-1999; "Emaam va Tahav-volaat-e Jonbeshe Daaneshjoo-i dar Vaapasin Sal-haaye Daheh-ye Panjaah" [Imam and Developments in the Student Movement in the Late 1350s] Asr-e Maa, Nos. 122 and 123, Tir 2 and 16, 1378/6-23-1999 and 7-7-1999; Abbas Abdi, "Khaateraate Abbas Abdi yeki az Daaneshjooyaan-e Mosalmaane Payro-e Khate Emaam" [Memoirs of Abbas Abdi, a Student Following Imam's Path], Kayhan Saal, 1365-66/1986-87.
21. Since 1376/1997 the DTV has been trying to get a license for a student a ssociation called "The Center for Muslim Students" in the Islamic Azaad universities. The university continues to disqualify it for political reasons. See interview with Abdollah Jasebi in Asr-e Azadegaan, No. 9, Mehr 25, 1378/10-17-1999.
22. See "Gofte-gu baa Daaneshjooyaan; Bach-che-haaye Enqelaab Chegooneh Mi-andishand" [Interview with University Students; What Children of the Revolution Think], Jame'eh Saalem, No. 23, Azar, 1374/1995.
23. Hojat Mortaji, Jenaah-haaye Siyaasi dar Iran-e Emrooz [Political Factions in Contemporary Iran], Tehran: Enteshaaraate Shafi-i, 1377/1998.
24. See "Paasokh-haaye Sarih va Ekhtesaasi-ye Mohandes Tabarzadi be Khaanandegaan" [Direct and Exclusive Answers to Readers' Questions by Engineer Tabarzadi], Hoviyat-e Khish, No. 3, Kordad 16 1378/6-16-1999.
25. Hojat Mortaji, op. cit.
26. See Majid Taval-laie, "Jonbeshe Daaneshoui-ye Mostaqel" [The Independent Student Movement], Iran Farda, No. 38, Aban and Azar, 1376/11-1997.
27. See Juergen Habermas, Toward a Rational Society; Student Protest, Science, and Politics, Translated by Jeremy J. Shapiro, Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 1971; Seymour Martin Lipset, Rebellion in the University, NJ: Transaction Publications, 1993. In Persian, see Mohammad Hariri Akbari, Rishehaaye Fa'aliyat-haaye Siyaasi-ye Daaneshjooyaan [Roots of Student Political Activities], Iran: n.p., 1351/1972.
28. A representative statement is "Bayaaniyeh Anjoman-e Eslaami-ye Daaneshjoyaan-e Daaneshgaah-e Shahid Beheshti" [The Statement by the Islamic Student Association of Shahid Beheshti University], Salaam, Ordibehesht 31, 1370/5-21-1991.
29. A representative statement is "Naameh-ye Anjoman-e Eslaami Daaneshjooyaan-e Daaneshgaah-e Shiraz va Olum-e Pezeshki-ye Shiraz" [A Joint Letter by the Islamic Student Associations of Shiraz University and the Medical Sciences College of Shiraz], Salaam, Khordad 2, 1372/5-23-1993.
30. "The Militant Clergy Association and the Concurrent Groups," Salaam, Tuesday, May 13, 1997. English translation in NetIran.
31. Kaargozaaraan-e Saazandegi consists of a moderate group of technocrats allied with Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. They are known as "modern right" faction in the IRI.
32. "Paasokh-haaye Sarih va Ekhtesaasi-ye Mohandes Tabarzadi be Khaanandegaan," op. cit.
33. The above numbers were reported by Mohammad Soleimani, the deputy for Students Affairs at the Ministry of Culture and Higher Education. See Iran News, 5-22-1995. For an excellent analysis of the growth in the number of students in Iranian universities, see Farzad Taheripour and Masoud Anjam-Sho 'a, "Gostaresh-e 'Amoozesh-e 'Ali va Touse'eh-ye Jamiyat-e Daaneshjoo-i" [The Expansion of Higher Education and the Growth of Student Population], Barnaameh va Touse'eh, Vol. 2, No. 5, spring, 1372/1993.
34. According to Habibollah Ajayebi, Deputy to Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, "based on the 1375/1996 statistics, there were 1,450,000 unemployed in Iran. It is estimated that this number will double by the end of 1378 [3-2000]." Washington Iranians, September 10, 1999.
35. See "Daaneshjoo va Daaneshgaah; Mohaafezeh-kaari va bi-omidi" [The Student and University; Conservatism and Hoplessness], Gozaresh, No. 62, Farvardin, 1375/3-1996; "Faqat Es-man Daaneshjoo Hastim!" [We Are Students Only in Name!], Gozaresh, No. 77, Tir, 1376/7-1997; Interview with students, "Khordsaalaan-e Enqelaab Chegooneh Mi-andishan," op. cit.; and "Javaanaan: Bozorgtar-haa Maa raa Dark Nemikonand!" [The Youth: Our Adults Do Not Understand Us], Hamshahri, Ordibehesht 21, 1376/5-11-1997.
36. See Mehrdad Mashayekhi, "Jonbesh-e Daaneshjoo-i: yek Negaah-e Jaame' eshenaakhti" [The Student Movement: A Sociological View], Keyhan (London), August 12, 1999.
37. The Iran Times, September 24, 1999.
38. Report by Neshat is reprinted in Washington Iranians, Vol. 3, No. 71, Friday, August 27, 1999.
39. Salaam, Aban 9, 1377/10-31-1998.
40. Salaam, Aban 13, 1377/11-4-1998.
41. Salaam, Aban 14, 1377/11-5-1998.
42. Resaalat, Aban 20, 1377/11-11-1998.
43. Here by "the left opposition" I mean Marxists, Socialists, and Social Democrats. They should not be confused with "the religious left" within the ruling clerics.
44. See "Sarkoobe Shoresh-haa dar chand shahre bozorg-e Iran" [The Suppression of Uprisings in Several Big Cities], Arash, Khordad, 1371/6-1992.
45. For example, 10 days prior to the July attack on the dormitory in Tehran University, 15 students in the College of Agriculture in Karaj fell sick due to infected waters in the university dormitory. See Hamshahri, Tir 7, 1378/6-28-1999.
46. Payaam Emrooz, No. 23, Ordibehesht, 1377/4-1998.
47. "Jonbeshe Daaneshjoo-i, ham 'Azaad, ham Dolati" [The Student Movement, Both Independent and Official], Payaam Emrooz, No. 31, Tir, 1378/7-22-1999.
48. For instance, the Islamic Student Association in Sharif Industrial University was called to the revolutionary court for writing a letter to the Leader of the IR arguing against the authority of the Guardian Council to disqualify candidates for elections [known as Approbatory Supervision]. See Hamshahri, Tir 7, 1378/6-28-1999.
49. See the article by Alireza Alavitabar in Sob-he Emrooz, Tir 31, 1378/7-22-1999.
50. See a letter by Ezatollah Sahabi, Habibollah Payman, Ali Akbar Moinfar, and Ebrahim Yazdi, sent to the President Khatami on Mordad 6, 1378/7-28-1999, published in Iran Farda, No. 56, Mordad, 1378/7-1999, page 24.
51. See "Didgaah-haaye Azaaye Saazemaane Mojaahedin-e Enqelaab-e Eslaami darbaareh-ye Masaael-e Jaari-ye Keshvar" [Views of the Members of the Organization of Mojaahedin-e of the Islamic Revolution about Current Affairs in the Country], Asr-e Maa, No. 125, Mordad 13, 1378/8-4-1999.
52. These hints are listed and referred to in an article by Hossein Bastani, "Senaar-you-ye Tashan-nojaate Akhir [The Scenario for the Recent Unrest], Sob-he Emrooz, Tir 22, 1378/7-13-1999. 53. Elahe Sharifpour-Hicks, a lawyer and researcher for Human Rights Watch talks about what she had learned of these plans in her article, "Iran's Winter of Discontent," The Wall Street Journal, September 23, 1999.
54. See a report of these events in Hamshahri, Tir 19, 1378/7-10-1999.
55. The number of individuals in plain clothes, who participated in the raid, is not clear. Reported numbers are between 50 to 400. The number quoted here was reported by Elahe Sharifpour-Hicks in "Iran's Winter of Discontent," op. cit.
57. See the section under "the third phase" in the Report by the Investigative Committee of the Supreme National Security Council distributed by IRNA and published in most newspapers in Iran, including Hamshahri, Mordad 24, 1378/8-15-1999.
58. "Behind the News," Iran Farda, No. 56, Mordad 1378/8-1999, page 24.
59. See reports of the attacks in Neshat, Khordad, Sob-he Emrooz, and Hamshahri on Tir 19-22, 1378 [7-10/7-13-1999].
60. Iran Daily, Tir 20, 1378/7-11-1999.
61. Hamshahri, Tir 19, 1378/7-10-1999.
62. Mohammad Qoochaani, "Barresi-ye Enteqaadi-ye Harekate 18 Tir-e Daaneshjooyaan dar Tehran" [A Critical Look at the 18th Tir Movement by the Students], Neshat, Mordad 7, 1378/7-29-1999.
63. For the role of Lotfian in the crackdowns, see the report in Neshat, Shahrivar 3, 1378/8-3-99.
64. I owe the analysis presented in this paragraph to a presentation by Masoud Razavi, of Hamshahri, in Paris, September 1999.
65. Farshid Motahari, "Student Unrest in Teheran Turns into Victory for Reformist President," Deutsche Presse-Agentur, July 11, 1999.
66. Rezaie's remarks were published in Sob-he Emrooz, Khordad 20, 1378/6-10-1999.
67. For positive reports on this demonstration see Keyhan, Resaalat, Jomhori Eslaami, and Abrar. Reports of beatings and arrests of students and Khatami supporters can be found in Neshat, Sob-he Emrooz, Khordad, Hamshahri, and Iran, Tir 24, 1378/7-14-1999.
68. "Tahav-volaate Jaariye Keshvar: dar Jostejooye Esteraateji va Taaktic," [Current Developments in the Country: In Search of a Strategy and Tactic] Ya Lessarsat al-Hossein, Mordad, 1378/8-1999.
69. See Jomhuri Islami, Mordad 14, 1378/8-5-1999.
70. Hamshahri, Mordad 24, 1378/8-15-1999.
71. See Reza Alijani, "Gaame Ba'di-ye Paygiri-haa baa Kist?" [Who is Going to Follow the Matter Now?], Iran Farda, No. 56, Mordad 1378/8-1999]. See also "Negaahi Vizheh be Gozaaresh-e Komiteh-ye Tahqiq-e Shoraaye 'Ali-ye Amniyat darbaareh-ye Faaje'eh-ye Kouye Daaneshgaah" [A Special Look at the Report by the Investigative Committee of the SNSC about the Campus Tragedy], Asr-e Maa, No. 127, Shahrivar 10, 1378/9-1-1999.
72. AFP News, July 20, 1999.
73. Khordad, Mordad 3, 1378/7-25-1999.
74. See his interview in Khordad, Mordad 6, 1378/7-28-1999. See also Mohammad Reza Sardari, "Senaaryou-i keh Natijehye Makoos daad," [A Scenario that Produced the Unwanted Result], Neshat, Mordad 2, 1378/7-24-1999.
75. See interview with Ayatollah Khazali in Sob-he Emrooz, Tir 31, 1378/7-22-1999.
76. See his comments in Sob-he Emrooz, Tir 31, 1378/7-22-1999. See also comments by Habibollah Asgaroladi, the General Secretary of the JME, in Neshat, Mordad 25, 1378/8-16-1999.
77. For Dehnamaki's comments see his interviews in Sob-he Emrooz (Tir 20, 1378/7-11-1999), Neshat (Mordad 21, 1378/8-12-1999), and "Havaades-e Kouye Daaneshgah va Naqshe Ansaar; dar Goftegou baa Masoud Dehnamaki" [The Events in University Dormitories and the Role of the Ansaar; An Interview with Masoud Dehnamaki], Tavaana, No. 46, Mordad 4, 1378/7-26-1999.
78. Sermon by Ayatollah Janati on Mordad 29/ 8-20-1378, The Iran Times, August 27, 1999.
79. See Rahbarpour's interview in Jomhori Eslami, Shahrivar 2, 1378 [8-24-1999].
80. Sob-he Emrooz, Mehr 29, 1378/10-21-1999.
81. "Zafe Bozorge Jonbesh dar Bisaazmaani Ast" [The Biggest Weakness of the Movement is its Lack of Organization], Raah-e Toudeh, excerpts quoted in the Iran Times, October 1, 1999.
82. "Didgaah-haaye Azaaye Saazemaane Mojaahedin-e Enqelaab-e Eslaami darbaareh-ye Masaa'el-e Jaari-ye Keshvar," op. cit.
83. See various statements made by intellectuals like Parviz Piran, Mosa Ghaninejad, Alireza Alavitabar, and Fariborz Raisdana (Sob-he Emrooz, Tir 22, 1378/7-13-1999), Masoud Behnood, and Ezatollah Sahabi (Neshat, Tir 21, 1378/7-12-1999). A statement by 111 national-religious activists critical of the conservative forces urged students to "avoid emotional behaviors and extremist slogans." (See Khordad, Tir 22, 1378/7-13-1999).
84. News, Reuters, July 14, 1999.
85. A list of these slogans is published in Washington Iranians, Vol. 3, No. 68, Friday, July 16, 1999. [Editor's Note: See also Bina's article in this issue.]
86. Ghay-r Khodi is an expression often used by the conservative faction describing those who do not share their views and are against a theocracy in Iran.
87. See comments made by Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and a host of Friday prayers around the country on Friday Tir 25, 1378/7-16-1999. A sample of them can be found in Khordad, Murdered 3, 1378/7-25-1999. See also comments by four members of the Majles in this regard in Iran, Mordad 14, 1378/8-5-1999.
88. For an analysis of conservative approach to the "third current," see Hassan Yousefi Ashkevari, "'Jariyaan-e Sev-voum' hamaan 'Jariyaan-e Dov-voum ' Ast" [The Third Current is the Same as the Second Current], Asr-e Azaadegaan, No. 9, Mehr 25, 1378/10-17-1999.
89. See the article by Majid Haji Babaie, "Omq-e Goftemaan, Niyaaze Jonbesh-e Daaneshjoo-i" [The Need for a Profound Discourse in the Student Movement], Khordad, Mehr 12, 1378/10-4-1999.
90. See interview with Hojatoleslam Qumi, chief of the Organization Representing His Excellency the Leader in Universities, Sob-he Emrooz, Tir 12, 1378/7-3-1999; Interview with Abdollah Nouri, when he was still an Interior Minister, Salaam and Hamshahri, March 5, 1998; Leader's comments to personal representatives at the colleges and universities, Iran News, 12-5-1996; Statement by Rafsanjani's Minister of Culture and Higher Education during his second term as president, Mohammad Reza Hashemi Golpaygani, Iran News, 13-8-1994.
91. See his remarks in Gozaresh, No. 77, Tir 1376/7-1997, page 6.