Students protest at Iranian university as official visits: Media

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Dozens of students protested at a university in Iran’s capital on Tuesday as a government official visited, state media reported, amid demonstrations sparked by Mahsa Amini’s death.

Iran has been gripped by protests since the 22-year-old died on September 16, three days after she was arrested by morality police in Tehran for allegedly violating the country’s strict dress code for women.

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The street violence has led to dozens of deaths, mostly among protesters but also among the security forces, and hundreds have of demonstrators been arrested.

On Tuesday, around 90 students gathered outside the law faculty at Tehran’s Allameh Tabatabai University, chanting “inappropriate and immoral slogans” while government spokesman Ali Bahadori-Jahromi was addressing a conference inside, state news agency IRNA said.

It did not elaborate on the reasons for the demonstration but said Bahadori-Jahromi later “appeared among the protesting students... and talked with them.”

Demonstrations have been reported at universities and schools in different Iranian cities in recent weeks.

Officials have accused the country’s “enemies,” mainly the United States, of inciting “riots.”

Bahadori-Jahromi said Persian-language media outlets and platforms based outside Iran were being used to “put pressure” on Tehran.

“Countries are willing to pay from their own pockets to start Persian-language media, while they do not know Persian at all and want to put pressure on us,” IRNA quoted him as saying.

Earlier Tuesday, Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi accused Iran’s regional rival Saudi Arabia of backing such foreign media.

“Social media and television channels, especially the ones affiliated with regional movements including Saudi Arabia and some Western countries,” have created “false atmospheres,” he said, without identifying any of the outlets.

Many of those arrested “said they were under the influence” of such media, Vahidi said, according to IRNA.

His remarks came a day after Major General Hossein Salami, the head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, warned Riyadh against “interfering” in the Islamic republic’s affairs and said: “We told you to be careful.”

“I have a suggestion for the Al-Saud regime,” Salami said Monday, referring to the ruling Saudi royal family.

“Control these media or the smoke will get into your eyes... you interfered in our internal affairs through these media, but know that you are vulnerable,” Sepah News, the Guards’ official website, quoted him as saying.

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