Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said Saturday that the country’s students won’t “allow the enemy’s false dreams to come true,” as protests sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini entered their fourth week.
A wave of unrest has rocked Iran since the 22-year-old Kurdish woman died on September 16 after her arrest by the morality police in Tehran for allegedly failing to observe the Islamic republic’s strict dress code for women.
The street violence has led to dozens of deaths, mostly of protesters but also members of the security forces, and gatherings have been reported in universities and schools across the country.
“The enemy thought it could pursue its desires in the university, unaware that our students and professors are awake and will not allow the enemy’s false dreams to come true,” Raisi said, according to a presidency statement.
Raisi’s remarks came as he attended a ceremony marking the beginning of the academic year at Tehran’s Al-Zahra, the first all-female university in Iran, founded in 1964.
Academics “will certainly defeat the enemy in the field of science and knowledge as well as in other fields,” he said.
On Sunday, Fars news agency reported on a rally at Al-Zahra University, where female students held a protest in support of Amini.
Face-to-face classes were suspended from Monday at Tehran’s Sharif University, Iran’s top scientific university, in the aftermath of violent incidents between students and security forces using tear gas and paintball and carrying weapons that shoot non-lethal steel pellets, local media reported.