The third day of protests over a deadly campus bus crash in downtown Tehran turned violent today with reports of police firing tear gas and attacking the protesters.
The bus was carrying 30 students along a mountainous road within the science research campus of the Islamic Azad University in northwestern Tehran when it veered off the road and hit a concrete column.
University students were protesting for the 3rd consecutive day in the streets of Tehran to demand that those responsible for the last week’s deadly bus crash be held accountable.
A video on Twitter showed students in front of Tehran University chanting slogans and demanding the resignation of the chairman of the university’s board of trustees, Ali Akbar Velayati, an aide to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
The students also chanted, “No fear, we’re all together” and “threats and prison are no longer effective”.
Videos on social media and reports from Tehran indicate that large crowds have gathered in Tehran’s Enghelab Square with ordinary Iranians joining the student ranks.
Security forces and riot police also attempted to arrest a number of people with protesters shouting, “leave them alone”.
Earlier, hundreds of students had gathered on Saturday and Sunday at the Azad Science and Research University campus, calling for university officials to resign over a bus crash that killed 10 and left 27 others injured.
In a large protest held yesterday by the Azad Science and Research University students, a car that students said belonged to the President of the Islamic Azad University, Mohammad Mehdi Tehranchi, rammed into protesters to make its way into the university.
Protesters demand the dean and other university officials resign.
In an attempt to calm the angry students Iran’s Attorney General, went to the students’ rally yesterday and vowed to investigate the case personally and punish those responsible, “if they were found guilty.”
In another attempt, according to a video published on social media, students said that the university was washing its old, depleted bus fleet to present them as new buses to the public.
Ali Akbar Velayati
Velayati, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs and MP, currently holds 37 official simultaneous posts including 23 educational/medical positions, nine political positions and 6 cultural positions, and is reportedly close to Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, as his chief foreign policy advisor.