Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has criticized the suspension of classes at universities and the refusal of professors to teach amid popular protests.
During his meeting with a group of people who were called “academicians” he once again seemed ignoring available information on the ground accusing the “enemies” of being behind the demonstrations at universities.
He claimed that some threaten the professors on the phone not to show up, but that professors are not “the perpetrators”; the one behind the scenes is important. He added that “enemies of the country” are after “crippling, closing down and ruining the universities.”
Interestingly, Khamenei also acknowledged that there are serious problems in the country. He admitted that the elites are leaving Iran, and some “prominent” ones who studied abroad, returned hoping to be able to work, but when they realized it is not possible to live in Iran due to “hurdles,” they left.
His comments come as on Wednesday students at different universities in Iran kept up their anti-regime protests.
Students of Al-Zahra University of Tehran wrote slogans against Khamenei on the doors and walls of classrooms.
A photo has also been sent to Iran International, which shows another slogan written on a board at Esfahan Art University reading “Dear student and teacher, the ink of your pen is blood.”
Meanwhile, hardliners intensified threats against dissidents on Wednesday. Hossein Shariatmadari editor of Kayhan newspaper in an editor’s note rejected any negotiations, calling the protesters “a handful of rioters, murderers and mercenaries have attacked people's lives and property. There is nothing but destruction, arson, murder, and crime in their vocabulary.”
Kayhan is published under the supervision of Khamenei's office.
Another hardliner paper Javan, which is affiliated to the Revolutionary Guard, lashed out at the popular football star Ali Daie for challenging Iranian lawmakers to tell the truth and be accountable for the death of a teenage girl who lost her life when regime thugs in a school in Ardabil beat her. Daie himself was born in Ardabil.
Daie , who was an international football star, is one of the most popular figures in Iran, but Shariatmadari threatened him with prosecution, confiscation of property and even death. It claimed that Daie is “deceived” and asked him not to get involved in such issues.
Daie earlier had rejected the allegations of the regime that the young Iranian girl had committed suicide or was suffering from heart disease.
The daily also called another Iranian football legend Ali Karimi “uneducated” and Mehrdad Pouladi, the former national player a “tramp” because of their anti-regime comments.
These sort of statements by hardliners will lead to more popular anger against the regime.
Earlier, Deputy Commander of Police Force Qassem Rezaie also said that “chaos, unrest and damage to the people” is a redline for the police and law enforcement agents will no longer show restraint against “norm breakers, rioters and the dissent.”
Rezaie repeated the cliché remarks of regime officials, especially Khamenei, blaming the protests on the “sworn enemies.” He said they are after creating “sedition” in the country by “exaggerating the problems” to “deceive” some people.
On Tuesday, Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi, who is wanted by the Interpol in connection with the murder of 85 people at a Jewish center in Argentina back in 1994, also linked the current protests to “enemies”.
He once again blamed the riots on “the adversaries’ news channels”, referring to Persian speaking foreign-based television stations beaming programs into Iran, claiming they are trying “to create chaos, but to no avail.”