Student Demonstrators at Majlis
The sign at far right reads: 'How Much Money For Each Vote?'
Tehran. 22 June 2010. Fars Photo
In a large student demonstration in front of Majlis, the Iranian Parliament, the protesters demanded that the parliament reverses its recent vote to allow the Free Islamic University of Iran to continue as an endowed private institution. The Free University, as it is popularly called, is the largest and arguably the richest institution of higher learning in Iran. The Majlis action legalized its status as an endowed private institution governed by its board of trustees, a common arrangement in the West, but an oddity in Iran’s system of government ownership of universities and colleges.
The semi-official Fars News Agency reports from Tehran that the student demonstrators were chanting slogans against the Majlis and its speaker: “Traitor Deputies Shame on You!”, “Larijani Shame On You, Resign, Resign!”
Some fundamentalist deputies joined the demonstrations and spoke at the gathering condemning the 134-72 vote on Sunday legalizing Free University’s status.
Implicit in the angry protests is the fact that the university, created during the first years of the Islamic Republic by Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani, is believed to be controlled by pro-opposition personalities. Fars News Agency highlighted related chants by protesters: “Larijani, Hashemi Have United!” , “Majlis, Mafia Have United!”