University students

When Pahlavi regime opened fire at students protesting Nixon's visit

The nature and characteristic of student movements - at least in our country - is that they are against arrogance, domination and dictatorship and that they are advocates of justice. Perhaps in many other countries too, student movements are like this.
The beginning of this movement or the known date for its beginning is the 16th of Azar [December 7]. It is noteworthy to say that the 16th of Azar of the year 1332 [December 7, 1953] - when three students were murdered in a bloody event - happened almost four months after the 28th of Mordad [August 19, 1953]. That is to say, after the coup d’état of the 28th of Mordad and after that intense suppression of all forces, this led to an explosion of the students in the University of Tehran. Why did this happen? It was because Nixon, who was the then U.S. vice-president, had come to Iran. Therefore, these students held a strike and demonstration on the university campus to protest the U.S. government and Nixon—who were the perpetrators of the coup d’état of the 28th of Mordad [August 19, 1953].
Of course, they were suppressed and three of them were killed. So, every year, the 16th of Azar is known for such characteristics. The 16th of Azar belongs to those students who are against Nixon, the U.S. and domination.
After this event, the student movement engaged in certain activities until the year 1342 [1963] which was the beginning of the seminarian, religious and Islamic movement in our country. I remember that students did certain activities during the years 1338, 1339 and 1340. But they were suppressed in a severe way and the regime did not allow these activities to flourish.



This continued until the movement of the clergy began in the year 1341 [1962]. Of course, it reached its peak in the year 1342. In this event too, you can see the sign of the student movement. You can see the student movement during the 15 years between the year 1342 when the movement of the clergy began and the year 1357 [1979] when the Revolution achieved victory. During these years, you can see that the students' movement always worked side by side with the clergy. During this time, the universities and academic environments in the country were centers of dynamism and activity. Students were one of the main arms of the revolutionary movement over the course of all these years. We ourselves witnessed this up close. Both friends who were involved in revolutionary activities and all the people experienced and witnessed it. So, universities were an inseparable part of the seminarian movement.
Of course, there were some secular, anti-religion, Marxist and other such orientations in universities. But the dominant movement was comprised of Muslim students. Therefore, students were present in the political groups which were formed at the time and they participated in the tasks which were carried out in prisons - the different prisons wherein we ourselves spent time during many years. This means that the clergy and students formed the majority of prisoners. When we the clergy and ulama[the clergy] of Mashhad and a large number of the people of Mashhad wanted to hold a demonstration in the year 1357 - before the victory of the Revolution - we held it in the medical department of Imam Ridha (a.s.) university. This signifies the centrality of universities. In Tehran too, the demonstration of ulama, the clergy, revolutionary personalities and activists for Imam's (r.a.) arrival - his arrival was delayed - was held in the University of Tehran. These events show the role of universities and students. They continued to play roles until the Revolution became victorious.
After the victory of the Revolution, the scene of the students’ movement and presence was an astonishing scene. In the first months after the victory of the Revolution, the issue of forming the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and the active presence of students in it was brought up. And after a few months, there were efforts by students themselves to form Construction Jihad. It was students who formed Construction Jihad and it was they who expanded and developed it. Construction Jihad was one of the blessings and glories of the Islamic Republic.
A few months after this, we witnessed the second wave of the presence of students in opposing and confronting the armed elements who had turned universities into their den. What is noteworthy is that many of them were not students. As a result of this, the University of Tehran had been turned into a center of ammunition, weapons and grenades. They had collected these weapons in order to fight against the Revolution. The people who managed to throw them out of the University of Tehran were students themselves. This was the great movement of students which showed itself in this arena as well

Dec 14, 2008


  • Pahlavi regime
  • Richard Nixon