• 16 December 2009
  • Posted By NIAC
  • 2 Comments
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Uncategorized

Rooz Online (via Payvand) is reporting that Mohammad Mohammadian, head of the Supreme Leader’s Office of University Affairs, stated today that “According to the existing data, 70 percent of students voted against Ahmadinejad.” The situation in the universities nationwide is growing more chaotic very quickly, the article states. Here’s more:

Even for a while prior to the Student Day, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s supporters had lost the chance to speak at university campuses, their speeches or question and answer sessions often being interrupted by student protests.

The remarks of the supreme leader’s advisor in university affairs are made as student protests against the Ahmadinejad administration have grown in an unprecedented manner, with the university administration practically losing control of several large universities in Tehran, Shiraz, Isfahan, Mashad and Hamedan.

Security forces affiliated with the ministry of intelligence have been dispatching Basij and Revolutionary Guards foces into university campuses to oppress and stop the further spreading of peaceful student protests.

Mohammadian called for a firmer response to the students and professors allegedly “weakening the regime.”

Meanwhile, yesterday a group of professors from the Tehran University’s technical campus issues a statement blasting the Basij and Revolutionary Guards’ interference in the university’s affairs.

Professors from the Tehran University’s technical campus warned that the continuation of the situation would undermine the safety of university students, professors and staff, and demanded an immediate halt to the security forces’ presence in universities.

Posted By NIAC

    2 Responses to ““70 Percent of University Students Oppose Government: Iranian Official””

  1. Pirouz says:

    Arsalan, when I read reports of IRGC forces at university campuses and demonstrations, the credibility of the source and its reporter is compromised.

    In all the videos and photos- and I mean all of them- one sees the IRIPF (both cadre and conscript-soldiers) and Basij. Not IRGC. It appears the elite Seyed-ol-Shohada Corps strategically perched on the northern gateway of Tehran has yet to be activated into a direct street-level security role.

    It could be that 70% is a valid estimate of potentially anti-establishment students. During America’s anti-establishment movement during the late 1960’s to early 70’s, American students politically at odds with US administrations were about the same. Yet a conservative president won the election in 1968, and again in 1972 by a huge landslide. And US students behaved similarly toward establishment officials, and law enforcement was noticeably present on campus. I remember it well.

  2. Alireza says:

    Sargord Pirouz, when I read your repeated attempts to compare the IRI’s brutality with the U.S. protest movement of the 1960s-70s, your credibility is further and further compromised. The IRI closed universities for a 2-year period in the early 1980s and purged it of “un-Islamic” professors and students (many of the IRI’s current “reformists” were also involved in this and other repressive measures). The IRI has killed well over 15,000 of its own citizens, a large number of whom were university and high school students. The US government, whom I disagree with on nearly its entire foreign and domestic policy, did not carry out such a Reign of Terror against its own citizenry in our lifetimes (nothing even remotely like this number of Americans were killed by US authorities during the 1960s-70s). This is the same IRI that you keep defending in your posts on this and other websites.

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Sign the Petition

 

7,349 signatures

Tell Google: Stop playing Persian Gulf name games!

May 14, 2012
Larry Page
Chief Executive Officer
Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, California 94043

Dear Mr. Page:

It has come to our attention that Google has begun omitting the title of the Persian Gulf from its Google Maps application. This is a disconcerting development given the undisputed historic and geographic precedent of the name Persian Gulf, and the more recent history of opening up the name to political, ethnic, and territorial disputes. However unintentionally, in adopting this practice, Google is participating in a dangerous effort to foment tensions and ethnic divisions in the Middle East by politicizing the region’s geographic nomenclature. Members of the Iranian-American community are overwhelmingly opposed to such efforts, particularly at a time when regional tensions already have been pushed to the brink and threaten to spill over into conflict. As the largest grassroots organization in the Iranian-American community, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) calls on Google to not allow its products to become propaganda tools and to immediately reinstate the historically accurate, apolitical title of “Persian Gulf” in all of its informational products, including Google Maps.

Historically, the name “Persian Gulf” is undisputed. The Greek geographer and astronomer Ptolemy referencing in his writings the “Aquarius Persico.” The Romans referred to the "Mare Persicum." The Arabs historically call the body of water, "Bahr al-Farsia." The legal precedent of this nomenclature is also indisputable, with both the United Nations and the United States Board of Geographic Names confirming the sole legitimacy of the term “Persian Gulf.” Agreement on this matter has also been codified by the signatures of all six bordering Arab countries on United Nations directives declaring this body of water to be the Persian Gulf.

But in the past century, and particularly at times of escalating tensions, there have been efforts to exploit the name of the Persian Gulf as a political tool to foment ethnic division. From colonial interests to Arab interests to Iranian interests, the opening of debate regarding the name of the Persian Gulf has been a recent phenomenon that has been exploited for political gain by all sides. Google should not enable these politicized efforts.

In the 1930s, British adviser to Bahrain Sir Charles Belgrave proposed to rename the Persian Gulf, “Arabian Gulf,” a proposal that was rejected by the British Colonial and Foreign offices. Two decades later, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company resurrected the term during its dispute with Mohammad Mossadegh, the Iranian Prime Minister whose battle with British oil interests would end in a U.S.-sponsored coup d'état that continues to haunt U.S.-Iran relations. In the 1960s, the title “Arabian Gulf” became central to propaganda efforts during the Pan-Arabism era aimed at exploiting ethnic divisions in the region to unite Arabs against non-Arabs, namely Iranians and Israelis. The term was later employed by Saddam Hussein to justify his aims at territorial expansion. Osama Bin Laden even adopted the phrase in an attempt to rally Arab populations by emphasizing ethnic rivalries in the Middle East.

We have serious concerns that Google is now playing into these efforts of geographic politicization. Unfortunately, this is not the first time Google has stirred controversy on this topic. In 2008, Google Earth began including the term “Arabian Gulf” in addition to Persian Gulf as the name for the body of water. NIAC and others called on you then to stop using this ethnically divisive propaganda term, but to no avail. Instead of following the example of organizations like the National Geographic Society, which in 2004 used term “Arabian Gulf” in its maps but recognized the error and corrected it, Google has apparently decided to allow its informational products to become politicized.

Google should rectify this situation and immediately include the proper name for the Persian Gulf in Google Maps and all of its informational products. The exclusion of the title of the Persian Gulf diminishes your applications as informational tools, and raises questions about the integrity and accuracy of information provided by Google.

We strongly urge you to stay true to Google’s mission – “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” – without distorting or politicizing that information. We look forward to an explanation from you regarding the recent removal of the Persian Gulf name from Google Maps and call on you to immediately correct this mistake.

Sincerely,

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