A while ago, news of the sale of university entrance exam questions shocked Iran’s education community. But the reality is, the volume of corruption was wider and deeper than the sale of entrance exam questions alone. These days, the Iranian media and social media networks are aflush with discussions about a new scandal: booking university seats even before the entrance exam.
The news of the sale of medical university’s seats at astronomical prices today is being discussed in various state-run media. Minister of Health Saeed Namaki wrote on his Twitter account: “Until this moment important results have been achieved and will be sent to the judiciary soon.”
“At least 200 sold seats have been discovered in the medical sciences universities,” Mahmoud Sadeghi, a member of Iran’s parliament, said on 20 October 2019.
Officials attempt to normalize this scandal and claim that they have launched an investigation. The truth is, when there are less than five weeks remaining to commemorate the student day in Iran on December 7, they are extremely concerned about possible student protests. In fact, Iranian universities always counted as a beacon of hope for the Iranian people’s struggle for freedom and democracy. During these years, Iranian students have never been deceived, neither by reformists’ promises nor by hardliners’ claims.
On October 17, Tehran University students rallied on the campus mosque to demonstrate their discontent with the presence of Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s president, in the university. Coinciding with the participation of Rouhani, students protested the lack of freedom and arrest of several students and demanded the release of jailed college students. In this regard, the Iranian people haven’t forgotten the role of “moderate” Rouhani in the crackdown on the students’ uprising in 1999.
On July 14, five days after the beginning of students’ uprising, then secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, Hassan Rouhani attended Tehran University and unveiled his brutal face against protesters. He commended the leadership of the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei who is responsible for thousands of executions and all crimes committed by the Islamic Republic not only inside Iran but across the Middle East and even further in Argentina and European soil.
Rouhani also stated, “before last night, a decisive order was issued that any move of these opportunistic elements, wherever it was, be vigorously dealt with and suppressed. From today, our people will witness what the security forces and police, the heroic mobilization force present on the scene, will do with these opportunistic and anarchist elements – if they dare to continue the ridiculous movement.”
It is notable that the student day in Iran was always a special day for showing students’ objections against the ruling system.
The Iranian people and especially the students of Iran will never forget that the so-called reformist President Mohammad Khatami, who in a speech at Tehran University on 6 December 2004 (the Iranian student day) said to the students: “Don’t get angry. You are young. You don’t know what this is all about. If you represent the people, I am the enemy of the people.”
Neither will they forget when Mehdi Karroubi, former presidential candidate, said, “The situation in universities is terrible these days, and every day some students are either ‘marked as suspicious‘, suspended or arrested.”
What this shows is that the Iranian government in its entirety didn’t respect the people especially the students. They don’t care about the development of the country and the universities. The 40-year rule of Ayatollahs has proven that their first and last priority is only how to extend the “clerical regime’s survival” at all costs.