Protests continue in Iran across several universities in Tehran and a few other cities following a violent crackdown on protests in Zahedan on Friday.

Students gathered to chant against the government at universities across the city
Students gathered to chant against the government at universities across the city (AP)

A southeastern city in Iran that was the scene of a bloody crackdown last month awoke to new destruction on Saturday, state TV showed after tensions erupted the day before.

In Zahedan, protests after Friday prayers left the city battered. Shops gaped open to the street, their windows smashed. Sidewalks were littered with broken glass. ATMs were damaged. 

Iran’s deputy interior minister for security, Majid Mirahmadi, told the state-run IRNA news agency the unrest in Zahedan had subsided on Saturday.

Witnesses said antigovernment protests erupted at several universities in Tehran amid heavy security on Saturday, the latest unrest in the nationwide movement first sparked by the September 16 death of Mahsa Amini, 22, in the custody of the country’s morality police.

Riot police and members of the Basij militia, armed with batons, were out in force near Tehran University and at major intersections in the capital.

The Basij was created as a paramilitary volunteer militia by the founder of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, in 1979.

Students gathered to chant against the government at universities across the city, according to witnesses who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.

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Similar demonstrations took place on Saturday in the cities of Tabriz, Shiraz, Yazd and Mashhad, according to videos on social media. 

At Yazd University of Art and Architecture in the central city, footage purportedly showed students chanting around a red-dyed pool to protest the authorities’ bloody crackdown.

A teachers’ union in Iran also called for a nationwide strike on Sunday and Monday in protest over the deaths and detention of students in the country, according to the association’s statement on Telegram.

Iranian officials have repeatedly blamed the protests on foreign interference, without offering evidence. 

On Saturday, Iran’s deputy judiciary chief, Kazem Gharibabadi, vowed Iran would file a case in Tehran court against the United States government and London-based Farsi language media outlets over their alleged role in fomenting unrest.

The Islamic Republic on Saturday also accused the United States of seeking to gain concessions in nuclear talks aimed at restoring the 2015 agreement, by supporting the protests.

Source: AP