When the mullahs stole power in 1979, they cracked down hard on the universities and subjected the students to the most brutal repression. Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini did not attempt to hide his opposition to higher education, especially in the sciences, describing universities as the enemy of the people and the “root of all problems” in 1980.
In fact, throughout the mass incarceration of political prisoners in the 1980s, 90% of them were students and of the 20,000 documented martyrs of the Iranian Resistance, nearly 8,500 of them were students.
Since then, Khomeini tried to place universities under the authority of reactionary clerics, put his into the universities, and even fire almost half of the scientific board of universities under the guise of “cultural revolution”.
The Regime has also created plenty of institutions that are designed to control universities, including the Students Basij, University Security, Cultural Revolution Council and the Students Discipline Committee, University Jihad, and the Leader’s Representative’s Office, and instituted quotas, sometimes up to 50%, for students affiliated with repressive bodies, like the IRGC and Basij.
The Iranian Regime is also trying to deter people from atten
ding university by increasing the living costs and tuitions, which means that poorer people cannot afford to attend.
Majid Hosseini, a professor at Tehran University, said: “85 per cent of university students in Iran are paying university tuitions and fees, and most of them are from rich families in big cities. This is happening while article no. 30 of the constitution requires the government to provide free education for all.”
Indeed, the Regime adopted a policy to build so-called “free” universities, but these turned out to be private companies designed by the authorities to steal from the people.
All of this was designed by the Regime to fill the universities with security agents and loyalists in order to control the students, but this has just resulted in a vicious pushback by the students who want to live in a free and democratic country.
The students’ regular protests and uprisings are a “testament to the failure of the ruling regime in trying to contain and control universities and suppress the aspirations of the young Iranian generation”, according to the Iranian Resistance.