Iranian student movement is no longer anti-American, website says


A note posted on the conservative Alef website in Tehran speculated as to why the traditionally left-wing student movement in Iran is no longer anti-American.

The memo titled “The Movement That Is No Longer a Movement,” published on Students’ Day on December 7, argued that, like all student movements around the world, Iranian students were also idealistic and anti-imperialist. They have always been anti-American, especially during the events of 1953 when three Tehran University students were killed by police while demonstrating against the visit of then-US Vice President Richard Nixon. . They also revealed their opposition to the United States in November 1979 when Islamic students seized the American embassy in Tehran and held American hostages for 444 days.

However, the short article goes on to say that the student protests of June 1999 against the repressive measures by the Islamic Republic marked a shift in the narrative of the student movement. Instead of being anti-Western, the protests targeted the fundamentalist and totalitarian nature of the Islamic regime and supported ideas such as liberalism, feminism and pluralism as a reform movement was born in the country.

The violent crackdown on that protest and ten years later in 2009 against a rigged presidential election totally changed the face of the Iranian student movement as its leaders came under pressure in prison and others fled the country and gradually forgot. the student movement and what it stood for. for.

Readers commented under the article that the Islamic Republic’s anti-Americanism and anti-Western ideologies have hindered Iran’s progress in recent decades.

The site’s editors felt compelled to publish a new article, trying to defend why they had printed a report saying the students were no longer anti-Western.

The new article cited Iranian academics such as Sadeq Zibakalam and Abdolhossein Khosrowpanah to prove that anti-Americanism has its roots in communism, but failed to explain why anti-Americanism is central to ideas and rhetoric. Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

A vivid example of how students and young people have changed their political outlook came this week, when President Ebrahim Raisi visited Sharif University of Technology in Tehran.

A prominent student Mohammad Hossein Bayat addressed him saying: “You were elected in the least competitive election in the history of the Islamic Republic, with the lowest voter turnout. “, And warned:” We are not speaking to you as a president elected with the free vote of the people in a free election. We speak to you as a representative of the existing system. No mention of America or the West, as if the young man knew exactly where the country’s problems were.

This squarely contradicts Khamenei’s consistent anti-Western remarks that signal his followers to chant “Death to America” ​​and swear not to negotiate directly with “the great satan.”

Bayat also told Raisi that he represented a ruling system which “over the past 40 years has failed to pave the way for the advancement of the people, despite revolutionary ideals of freedom and justice.”


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