Saturday, July 26, 2014


Transmission

Iranian Students Crash Nuclear Party

By RFE/RL's Radio Farda
Former Iranian presidential candidate and nuclear negotiator Said Jalili surfaced this week at a Tehran technical university to lecture students on the benefits of nuclear power. But video of the event shows that the hard-liner's message was drowned out by opposition-minded students.

Billed by Amirkabir University as a "nuclear celebration," the event was headlined by speakers Jalili and the former chairman of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, Fereydun Abbasi. 

Basiji students filled the front rows, waiting for their chance to raise posters and banners critical of the softer approach Tehran has taken in international nuclear negotiations under new President Hassan Rohani and his foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif. 

But pandemonium broke loose when students in the back disrupted the event by calling for much more openness at home and abroad. RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports that the students sang songs and shouted slogans as Jalili tried to address the students, and chanted messages of support for the release of opposition leaders Mir Hussain Musavi and Mehdi Karrubi, who have been under house arrest since 2011. 

Among the chants were "Free Musavi and Karrubi," and "Free political prisoners!" All in all it took 45 minutes for things to quiet down enough for the lecture to proceed.

Raw video footage of scene was posted on April 14 on the Facebook page of the news website "Setade Salam":
 
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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

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