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Phantom Students Greet Ahamdinejad

Ahmadinejad during the 30th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution
There's no love lost between Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad and student activists, who have been under growing pressure since he took power some four years ago.

During a 2006 visit to Tehran's Amir Kabir University, Ahmadinejad was greeted by angry students chanting "Death to the dictator" and burning pictures of him.

During another visit to the Tehran University a few months later, most students were not allowed in the hall where Ahmadinejad was giving a speech to mark the start of the academic year. But the students still staged a demonstration outside and grabbed the spotlight.

The website of the alumni organization of Iran's largest reformist student group has reported that to prevent similar incidents this year, the Iranian president visited Tehran's Science and Technology University (Elm va Sanat) during a religious holiday on February 16 when there were no students at the university.

But that wasn't how Iran's semi-official Fars news agency reported the story on February 16. The report said that Ahmadinejad was greeted by students chanting "Ahamadi, Ahmadi, We support you."

However, the student website, not to be outdone, has reacted to the Fars report by saying that it is not clear who were the people who greeted Ahmadinejad since the students were all on vacation.

-- Golnaz Esfandiari

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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

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