Iranian security forces clash with students at bus crash protest

In recent months, Iran has experienced demonstrations in different cities. (File photo: Reuters)
Updated 31 December 2018

Iranian security forces clash with students at bus crash protest

  • Rouhani has ordered an investigation into the accident at Tehran’s Azad University that killed 10 students last week

LONDON: Security forces clashed with students in Iran on Monday in the third day of protests over a deadly bus crash, online videos showed, adding to officials’ fears that rising public unrest could threaten national security.
President Hassan Rouhani has ordered an investigation into the accident at Tehran’s Azad University that killed 10 students last week. Students have protested over the aging transport fleet and lack of accountability from the authorities.
A video on Twitter showed students at a campus in Tehran 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.
Reuters could not immediately verify the authenticity of the videos.
Tehran’s deputy governor, Abdolazim Rezaie, was quoted as saying by the ISNA news agency that the protests were illegal as no permit had been issued for any gathering. He said the police had full control of the streets and no arrests had been made.
In recent months, Iran has experienced demonstrations in different cities as factory workers, teachers, truck drivers and farmers protested against economic hardship and corruption.
Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani, the chief of Iran’s hard-line judiciary, warned on Monday of a possible repeat of the 2009 protests, Iran’s biggest unrest in the last two decades.
“The workers and students have legitimate demands ... but they should be vigilant not to advance the enemies’ goals,” Larijani was quoted as saying by the Tasnim news agency.
US President Donald Trump reimposed sanctions on Iran earlier this year after pulling out of a 2015 nuclear deal, helping to depress the value of the rial and boosting annual inflation fourfold to nearly 40 percent in November.


Protesters regain control of third bridge in Baghdad

Updated 17 November 2019

Protesters regain control of third bridge in Baghdad

  • Security forces used tear gas and stun bombs to prevent protesters from getting right across Ahrar Bridge in central Baghdad
  • More than 300 people have been killed since the start of mass unrest in Baghdad

BAGHDAD: Iraqi protesters regained control of a third bridge leading to Baghdad’s Green Zone on Sunday, taking further ground in the biggest wave of anti-government demonstrations in decades.
Security forces used tear gas and stun bombs to prevent protesters from getting right across Ahrar Bridge in central Baghdad, part of a weeks-long attempt to disrupt traffic and reach the Green Zone housing government ministry and embassies.
Protesters made a barricade of old cabinets, trash cans and metal sheeting on the bridge while security forces took positions behind blast walls installed to prevent protesters from crossing to the other side. Protesters who choked on the tear gas were evacuated by tuk-tuk, a Reuters cameraman said.
On Saturday, Iraqi demonstrators reoccupied part of adjacent Sinak Bridge and a nearby tall building in Baghdad that security forces had pushed them away from a week before. They have held a third bridge, Jamhuriya, since October 25.
More than 300 people have been killed since the start of mass unrest in Baghdad and southern Iraq in early October, the largest demonstrations since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003.
Protesters are demanding the overthrow of a political class seen as corrupt and beholden to foreign interests.
In Basra in the south, dozens of protesters burned tires and briefly blocked some roads on Sunday, before police managed to restore control and reopen them, police said.
The unrest has shattered the relative calm that followed the defeat of Islamic State in 2017.