Iranian students meeting President Ebrahim Raisi in Tehran. December 7, 2021

Iranian students meeting President Ebrahim Raisi in Tehran. December 7, 2021

Student Leader Harshly Attacks Raisi Attending A University Event

12/7/2021

An Islamist student on Tuesday harshly attacked President Ebrahim Raisi and the ruling elite during a public meeting in Tehran’s Sharif University of Technology.

Raisi who visited the university to mark the annual student day, was peppered with attacks by the Secretary of the university’s Islamic Student Union. The group is present on all campuses and is a state-sanctioned organization whose members belong to the Basij paramilitary wing of the Revolutionary Guards.

The remarks of the student leader, Mohammad Hossein Bayat are stunning in their directness and degree of criticism. He told Raisi that “You got elected in the least competitive election in the history of the Islamic Republic, with the lowest rate of voter participation.” He added, “We are speaking to you not as a president elected with the free vote of the people in a free election. We are speaking to you as a representative of the ruling system.”

Raisi’s key rivals were barred from running in the June election by a watchdog council controlled by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, that ensured his victory among less popular candidates.

Bayat, addressing Raisi said that he represents a ruling system which “in the past 40 years has not opened a path for the progress of the people, despite the revolutionary ideals of freedom and justice.” But what the student leader said next was even more stunning. He told Raisi that the Islamic Republic not only has failed to serve the people, but it has “drowned itself in various crises and super crises and except some brief periods, it has not seen stability and calm.”

A student representative addressing Ebrahim Raisi on Tuesday, December 7, 2021

These remarks implicitly pointed to the Islamic Republic’s confrontational foreign policy among other issues, such as an inefficient economic system, persecution of dissidents, lack of transparency and disastrous environmental policies.

Bayat then reminded the president that he is the product of the least competitive election, organized by an “incapable and ineffective political system” which has pushed the people into “hopelessness about any change or improvement” in Iran.

He went on to accuse Raisi of stacking his administration with corrupt cliques, and he openly named the president’s top aides. Bayat also said that the current administration is the most militarized government in the history of the Islamic Republic, dividing critical posts among the Revolutionary Guard brass.

Iranian presidents have often met tough critics whenever they visited universities. But dissident students have been intimidated into silence and the Islamic Student Associations are controlled by elements who are supposed to be loyal to the Islamic Republic. Bayat’s harsh remarks should be seen in this context.

Bayat told Raisi to tell his friends that there is no glory in zero percent economic growth, political isolation, lack of transparency and all other policies that impose an “exorbitant cost on the Iranian nation.”

He continued to mention more than a dozen crises in the country, above all corruption of the “political-military elite” and the suppression of the people who are hopeless and fed up with their economic plight. In a situation where all civil society has been demolished and activists are in prison, Bayat asked Raisi, what other alternative exists except violence and protest. He added that the ruling elite has basically decided it does not want to listen to the people as long as it can fire guns to protect itself.

In the end of his remarks Bayat warned Raisi that if a rational way out of the current crises-ridden situation is not found, the ruling elite will receive “an answer from the people that might not come immediately…but will definitely be revolutionary and decisive.”

Science Weekly
IITV News (24) - DC
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