Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Iran students boo Rafsanjani ally at election rally

Iran Focus:
Students heckled and taunted the chancellor of Tehran’s Open University after as he attempted to give a speech, calling on students to vote for former Iranian president and strongman Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani in the upcoming June 17 presidential elections. READ MORE

Abdollah Jassbi, a member of the Rafsanjani campaign’s leadership, was interrupted repeatedly during his speech in the sports hall at the Rudehen Unit of the university, east of Tehran.

The angry protest reached its climax when Jassbi said that Rafsanjani was the architect of Iran’s Open University. Students accused Jassbi of trying to orchestrate the event in support of the man they blame for much of country’s current economic woes. Students shouted that a number of individuals had been “planted” inside the hall and given questions to ask Jassbi.

Boos and jeers echoed from the back of the hall and students chanted slogans calling for a boycott of the “manipulated” elections.

Jassbi said it was mandatory for all students and the teaching staff to attend the meeting, but many lecturers refused to cancel their classes and a number of others left the campus in protest against the forced publicity stunt.