Iran’s anti-government protests, which normally start around evening, began on Wednesday morning with gatherings of students in several universities across the country.
On Wednesday, students at some universities such as the University of Tehran and Allameh Tabataba'i University as well as Al-Zahra University -- a female-only public university – held protest rallies, chanting slogans against the Islamic Republic’s authorities with many women removing their headscarves.
Universities in the cities of Semnan, Tabriz, and Orumiyeh (Urmia) were also scenes of similar protests as the country is going into the fifth day of unrest over the death of a young woman in custody of hijab enforcement patrols.
The protests started after the death of the 22-year-old Mahsa Amini first in her hometown and then reached the capital Tehran and expanded to many Iranian cities and towns, with several people reported dead and hundreds injured or arrested.
The videos sent to Iran International show that in the funeral ceremony of Farjad Darvishi, who was killed by security forces during the protests in Orumiyeh on Tuesday, the participants chanted “Death to the Dictator,” a reference to the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
In his speech to military commanders on Wednesday, Khamenei did not mention the ongoing protests that can pose a serious challenge to his rule.
Khamenei spoke for the second time in a week despite earlier reports that he had a serious health issue and was under observation by doctors. This time the occasion was the 42nd anniversary of Iraq’s sudden invasion of Iran in September 1980 that led to a bloody and destructive 8-year war.