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Protesters In Tehran Call On 'Inefficient Officials' To Resign

Iran -- Video grab of protest around Tehran University on Monday December 31, 2018.
Iran -- Video grab of protest around Tehran University on Monday December 31, 2018.

Reports from Tehran say police has been firing tear gas to disperse anti-government demonstrators around the city’s main university Monday afternoon.

Meanwhile, Tehran's local governor has labelled the demonstrators, who are mainly university students, as "opportunists," and claimed that the situation is under control, ISNA reported.

As videos on social media show demonstrations in downtown Tehran near Tehran University, Mehr news agency quoted Iran's Police Chief Hossein Ashtari as warning that "demonstrators will need a permit for any gathering."

Scores of videos posted on social media on Monday December 31, particularly on Twitter, show groups of students taking part in protest demonstrations around the university.

So far there no reports of any police action against the protesters.

Some of the slogans chanted in these demonstrations call on "inefficient officials" to resign. Meanwhile in other slogans, demonstrators encourage each other to be brave: "Don't be scared, We are all together."

Social media users have pointed out that there are tight security measures in place and demonstrators have been moving back and forth along Enghelab (Revolution) Avenue adjacent to the university.

A twitter post by a user writing under the alias Stig says "It has already started in Tehran and a few other cities. Let's get out with your family and co-workers. Whatever your complaint may be, it will eventually turn into a regime change."

Demonstrations near the Tehran University followed two days of protests so far at the Azad University compound in north-western Tehran where 9 students were killed and tens of others injured in a university bus accident that has been attributed to university officials' negligence.

The police chief's comment about a permit for demonstration came while during 40 years of clerical rule in Islamic Republic, no party or political group in Iran has been given a permit to hold a protest demonstration.

In another development, Alimohammad Naeeni, an IRGC adviser, has said that Iran will be facing two major crises in the next Iranian year (March 2018-March 2019). One is parliament elections, which according to Naeeni "can pave the way for civil disobedience," and the other one is a deepening economic crisis as a result of economic pressures.

He added that the Islamic Republic's enemies have been focusing on labor unrests in Iran in recent months.

Naeeni's remarks are in reference to hundreds of protests demonstrations in various parts of Iran during the past year by teachers, workers and other groups protesting against social injustice and economic hardships.

Calls for protests have also been made using social messaging platform telegram which is widely used by millions of Iranians in spite of the ban imposed on the popular app. Recently, a culture ministry official has said that up to 45 million Iranians use Telegram, adding that Telegram has replaced the Iranian state-run TV's status as the country's national media.

Demonstrations in Tehran continue as other protest moves have been also going on elsewhere in the country, such as this one in Isfahan in protest to the shortage and mismanagement of water resources. The tweet says the protest took place on Monday. Radio Farda cannot verify the exact venue and date of this protest.