Protesting Iranian students may have been lured into a parking garage by the University president to be rounded up for arrest (or shooting)

October 3, 2022 • 10:45 am

UPDATECNN has just reported on the situation, with students reported being beaten, gassed, shot (with what, though?) and arrested. And why the students were in the parking garage is still unclear. But it does seem that they were driven back into the University by security forces. A quote from one student:

“It started with the students refusing to go to class. And then the (professor) of science came to talk to them because they were chanting stuff… the students were led out by the security forces of the university, and they were then stopped by Sepahs (IRGC forces), wearing normal people’s clothing,” Farid told CNN.

“They told them that ‘if you go near the subway station, we will start shooting, go back to the university.’ And then after half of the students got back into the university, they let the others into the parking lot. And after that, they started shooting them with paint balls and taking them into custody in a very, very savage way,” he added.


It’s true that the “MSM” (mainstream media) has been covering the trouble in Iran, which began when the “morality police” apparently beat 22-year-old Mahsa Amini to death after she was apprehended for having an incorrectly positioned hijab. This has touched off protests throughout the country as repressed anger at the theocracy finally reached the boiling point (I see Amini as the George Floyd of Iran).

But for the latest news you have to go to the overseas Anglophone sources, like the British media, or to Twitter, with the latter sometimes being hard to confirm—as in this case.

What I’m posting about now is a battle between students and government riot police at Sharif University of Technology, a high-class technical school nicknamed “the MIT of Iran” (it was formerly called Aryamehr University of Technology and then Tehran University of Technology.before it was renamed for a Mujahedin). It’s long been a center of protest, which has now erupted into outright battle, as recounted below by the Guardian, the BBC, and Sky News (click on screenshots). I received an email from a correspondent who argues that the University’s President lured the students into a parking garage so that they they could be rounded up by police and arrested—or even shot. (See below).

The Guardian:

From their report:

Activist Twitter account 1500tasvir, which has about 160,000 followers, posted several videos showing Sharif University, traditionally a hotbed of dissent, surrounded by dozens of riot police on Sunday.

One of the videos showed security forces firing teargas to drive the students off the campus and the sound of what appeared to be shooting at a distance could be heard.

Another video showed security forces chasing dozens of students trapped in the university’s underground parking. The account said dozens of students had been arrested.

Iranian state media described “reports of clashes” at the university and said the country’s science minister visited the campus to check on the situation.

Reuters could not independently verify the events at the university.

Students had been protesting at numerous universities on Sunday and demonstrations were held in several cities such as Tehran, Yazd, Kermanshah, Sanandaj, Shiraz and Mashhad, with participants chanting “independence, freedom, death to Khamenei,” earlier social media posts


From the BBC Report:

Iranian police have cracked down on students at a prestigious university in Tehran, as anti-government protests continue to sweep the country.

Reports said a large number of students at Sharif University of Technology were trapped in a car park that had been surrounded by security personnel.

One video appeared to show students running away as gunshots ring out.

. . .Sunday was the first day of term for first-year students attending Sharif University of Technology.

The semi-official Mehr news agency reported that about 200 students gathered at the campus on Sunday afternoon and began chanting slogans including “woman, life, freedom” and “students prefer death to humiliation”. As the demonstration continued, the slogans became more radical and directed against the clerical establishment, it said.

The violence erupted in the late afternoon, when security forces arrived at the campus. Mehr reported that security personnel fired tear gas and paintballs, causing some of the students to flee to one of the university’s car parks.

Another appears to show people running as motorcyclists advance along a street. Gunshots can be heard, as well as chants of “death to Khamenei”.

The US-based Center for Human Rights in Iran said a third video showed a “detained protester being carted away with [their] entire head wrapped in clothing” by two security personnel on a motorbike, one of whom then opens fire at the woman filming.

Reports said a number of students were beaten or shot with pullet guns, and that 30 to 40 were arrested.

In one video posted on social media, a group of people are seen trying to escape through a car park while being pursued by security forces on motorbikes.

The fleeing from the car park, the firing of paintballs, and the detained protestor are all shown in the tweets at bottom, as well as in the Sky News video linked below:

I’ll ask you to judge these scenes for yourself, as there’s mass confusion. What’s clear is that the students are running away from something:

Another scene from the parking garage:

The “shooting” in this video is said to be a paintball, not bullets. The detainee in the middle on the motorbike has his head wrapped.

This is the first of a 16-tweet thread:


Now it’s not clear what’s happening here. My correspondent, who must remain anonymous for obvious reasons, thinks the students were lured into the parking garage. His/her email:

Yesterday, the Iranian regime trapped students at Sharif University – often called the MIT of Iran – and started shooting at them and arresting them.

The head of the university was on a US Dept of State list of people responsible for human rights abuses in Iran:

If you look on that list, you’ll see this name:

  • Rasool Jalili, Sharif University of Technology, member of the Supreme Council of Cyberspace;

The correspondent continues:

It is believed [Jalili] collaborated with the regime to bring the students on campus under the guise of having a safe place to stay amidst the protests, then unleashing the regime’s forces on them.
Now of course I can’t verify the collaborationist claim adduced here, but Wikipedia says that Rasoul Jalili is the President of Sharif University. and the State Department list does give the names of people whose visas are restricted and “whose property and interests are blocked” by the U.S. because they’re accused of engaging in human rights abuses.


Did Jalili lure the students into the parking garage so they could be rounded up, or even shot? I have no idea, but there’s no evidence to contradict it, either. I suppose we’ll find out eventually. But what’s clear is that the Iranian government is at war with the students at Sharif University, and many have been arrested.

As of three days ago, the countrywise death toll from the Iranian protests was 83, and it’s surely higher now. Does this spell the end of the theocracy? I hope so, but they and not the students are the ones with the guns and the jails. And there have been sporadic protests against the regime, but it’s still here. And that’s a damn shame, for imagine where Iran would be if it had a more democratic government, one not infused with medieval theology.

11 thoughts on “Protesting Iranian students may have been lured into a parking garage by the University president to be rounded up for arrest (or shooting)

  1. Iran has the ninth largest army in the world and they are evidently loyal to the Mullahs. Just sayin’…

  2. It is believed [Jalili] collaborated with the regime to bring the students on campus under the guise of having a safe place to stay amidst the protests, then unleashing the regime’s forces on them.

    This is a little confusing, since students taking refuge from the protests in a parking garage wouldn’t seem to be the ones the regime would want to round up. They’d want the protesters— who probably wouldn’t want to stage a public protest in a parking garage. But the details haven’t come out yet.

    My money is on the regime and their forces behaving badly, though, whatever the circumstances here.

  3. What can we do to help? Some suggestions from a just published substack essay:

    Never mind sad mumblings about how awful Mahsa Amini’s death was or vague hand-waving rhetoric about freedom. The Western democracies, America most of all, should say it loud and clear: we support the revolutionaries of Iran in their brave fight against religious tyranny and in their attempt to build a free society.

    And they should offer what concrete help they can to the protestors and others in opposition, whether that be in the form of money or legal help or sanctions or anything else—but always and only at the behest of Iranians themselves, with no real politicking or impositions or conditions apart from a commitment to secular democracy.

    The author, Daniel James Sharp, goes on to argue

    In this way, Joe Biden could become one of the greatest presidents ever to hold the office. He can never be forgiven for the Afghanistan betrayal, but he has shown great strength in the face of Vladimir Putin’s vicious assault on Ukraine and demonstrated his commitment to that beleaguered democracy. Thanks to Western assistance, the bulk of which comes from the U.S., the hardy soldiers of Ukraine are rolling back Putin’s armies. Biden’s commitment to and skill in this task (so far), whilst avoiding direct engagement with Russia and thus nuclear escalation (also so far), must count as one of the great foreign policy triumphs of any U.S. president.

    1. I don’t see how money or any other material help could ever get there. Sanctions — what else is there to sanction, and what good would it do?
      But statements of encouragement from up top might embolden the protestors to where huge numbers take to the streets and possibly topple the regime. But that effort would be bloody as hell, and it could easily fail and then Biden could be blamed for encouraging it.

    2. “The author, Daniel James Sharp, goes on to argue ‘ . . . Joe Biden . . . can never be forgiven for the Afghanistan betrayal . . . .'”
      Is Mr. Sharp similarly inclined to lecture the not a few U.S. service members who were glad to get the heck out of Afghanistan, as well as Americans who declined to enter military service on account of the possibly of getting entangled in that 20-year morass?

      I’ll put on my To Do List discovering whether Mr. Sharp himself was in the military, or a “Chicken Hawk” a la Dick “I Had Other Priorities” Cheney.

      1. The issue of Afghanistan is not whether we should have stayed, but how the withdrawal was conducted.
        On the issue of Iran, nonviolent protest or civil disobedience is a very effective tool against governments or other organizations that put a premium on public opinion and do not want to be seen in a bad light.
        I am not sure Iran falls into that category.
        There must be a better way to phrase my point, but I am picturing how effective such a protest might have worked against the Huns, or the Assyrians. Or the Khmer Rouge.
        If they see you as a threat, or even an irritant, they just kill you.

        What I fail to understand about Iran is how the Obama and Biden administrations seem almost subservient to the regime. Normal negotiations with a hostile and terroristic regime would involve rewarding them with benefits only as a condition of their making verifiable progress in the direction of engaging in less terrorism and such.

        1. Having read Mr. Sharp on Afghanistan, the issue for him (and me) is in fact that we didn’t stay. Biden may deserve some blame for the actual withdrawal having gone so badly – blunders happen, that’s tactical. Biden’s was the strategic error of abandoning 25 million when staying would have cost so little.

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