- by theguardian
- 30 Nov 2022
Thousands of Iranians have demonstrated in defiance of a final warning by the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) that he would bring protests to an end with unprecedented force.
Rallies were held on the streets on Sunday to protest against raids on student dormitories over the weekend in which students were taken away in buses to state detention. Some were sent text messages saying they were banned from campus indefinitely.
At some universities, students had dismantled partition walls in canteens put there to separate men and women.
Restrictions on media access made it hard to judge the breadth of the protests, but they appeared larger and more defiant than ever. Supporters of the regime insisted only a small minority were protesting, but acknowledged they have continued far longer than they expected.
The IRGC and the Basij, a paramilitary police force, were true to their word on Saturday, entering a number of campuses in an attempt to arrest students that they had on their lists, sometimes as many as 100. The security forces were also seeking the cooperation of authorities to lock the gates of universities and only let out those not listed for arrest.
The new surge in protests has been prompted by emotional 40th-day commemorations of demonstrators killed in the initial wave of rallies, leaving Iran locked in a cycle of violence and dissent.
In an ominous statement on Friday, the IRGC intelligence department claimed Hamedi had been trained abroad by western intelligence agencies, a claim that was rejected.