• 8 December 2010
  • Posted By Lily Samimi
  • Iranian Youth

Media Overlooks Iran Student’s Day Protest, 16 Azar

Yesterday was the 57th anniversary of Iran’s Student Day and the 2nd student’s day protest since the birth of the Green Movement in June 2009. Unfortunately this didn’t hit mainstream media. This could either be because of Iran’s constant censorship or the media being consumed with other Iran topics, i.e. Wikileaks and P5+1 talks.

Students from all kinds of universities poured out onto the streets of Iran mourning the loss of their colleagues during the June 2009 aftermath, demanding the release of political prisoners, and demanding their civil rights. Mir Hossien Mousavi’s Facebook page shows quite a few videos and pictures from yesterday of different universities protesting. Additionally, on Mousavi’s page, supporters of the Green movement, Khatami and Karroubi have released statements of their support.

It is unsure as to how many protestors were out on the streets and how many people were arrested. However, there are several reports and videos talking about yesterday’s events, including this video from BBC Persian.

Enduring America blogged about the media and government completely overlooking the protests in Iran.

Even those who are often accused by the Iranian Government of carrying out a US Government  of “regime change” have no words on the regime and the students. The Voice of America declined to cover the story. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty is silent, apart from a pointer in its Press Review to a Los Angeles Times story.

Tehran Bureau reports on specific student protests around the country and first hand accounts.

The largest protests were reported at Tehran University’s Faculty of Medicine, where students and professors held a demonstration about a thousand people strong — they demanded political rights and the release of political detainees. A gathering of around a thousand students at Amir Kabir Polytechnic University sang patriotic songs and called for political prisoners to be freed.

Wall Street Journal reports on the Basiji forces surrounding student protests.

Riot police and security forces surrounded Tehran University, the epicenter of student activism, according to witnesses and online videos. Iranian law prohibits security forces from entering the campus, but students said as many as 400 plainclothes militia members had entered to intimidate students. Security forces built scaffolding around the entire campus and covered it with tents, in an apparent attempt to cut off communication between student protestors inside and passersby outside, according to videos and witness accounts.

Its hard to say what exactly happened yesterday, but it is evident that the Green Movement remains alive in  Iranian hearts and minds.

Posted By Lily Samimi

    4 Responses to “Media Overlooks Iran Student’s Day Protest, 16 Azar”

  1. Pirouz says:

    Honestly, Lily, the student protests at UC Berkeley two weeks ago were much bigger than those yesterday in Iran. As you probably know, UC students here in California are protesting tuition hikes that are now put the price of a UC education at tens of thousands of dollars per semester! There were a number of arrests at the UC protests.

    In Iran, higher education at public institutions such as the University of Tehran are considered a human right to those that qualify, and are free.

    Public universities such as UC Berkeley were once considered a human right to those that qualified, too. That is until none other than Governor Ronald Reagan starting charging students in California, setting off a precedent that has snow balled into what it is today. That started in the early 1970s, if memory serves me correctly.

    Anyway, kinda puts things in perspective, don’t you think?

  2. Pirouz says:

    And here’s additional “perspective”, this coming out of the UK:


  3. Pirouz says:

    Lily, just thought you’d like to know that yet another poll has come out reflecting consistently nearly the same figures as the official results of the 2009 election (that makes four now), as well as reflecting results that a solid majority of Iranians inside Iran support their Islamic Republic governance:


    Please take this into consideration when speaking on behalf of “the Iranian people.”

  4. Iranian-American says:

    Pirouz, who are you trying to convince? It may help to first convince yourself, perhaps by writing in an online journal or something. Three posts in a row repeating the same silly arguments that have been debunked before just starts to look desperate.

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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.



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