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161 Iranian MPs honor 16th Azar, academic Aghajari

Some 161 members of Iran's parliament said on Tuesday that the student movement indicated that the university must have lively atmosphere and be a place for acquiring knowledge and moving forward towards democracy in line with the Islamic, social and political standards, IRNA reported from Tehran.

The MPs said in a statement read out by MP Ebrahim Amini at the end of the formal session of the parliament that the student movement has maintained its vanguard role in political and social development of the country and despite all the pressures exerted on them they remain the flag-bearer of advancement in social and political fields.

"Detention, conviction and imprisonment could not put the least impact on the strong (student) movement which advocates freedom of expression and social justice," the statement said.

Elsewhere in the statement, the MPs said, "The universities and the students contributed a lot to the reform movement which gained momentum on May 23, 1997 (in presidential election) and exercised their vanguard presence in opening up the political atmosphere of the country. They tolerated many hardships and unfriendly treatments."

The statement also honored academic Hashem Aghajari and said that the injustice to which Aghajari has been exposed is the price the nation is paying for the cause of freedom of expression.

The national 'University Students Day' is held every year since 1953 to pay tribute to three students Mostafa Bozorg-nia, Mehdi Shariat Razavi and Nasser Qandchi martyred by the former regime's police when they had joined a demonstration to confer an honorary doctorate degree to Richard Nixon (vice-president in the Eisenhower administration) from Tehran University during his visit to Tehran in 1953.

Nixon was due to celebrate the US-engineered coup that toppled the popular government of the then-prime minister Mohammad Mossadeq four months earlier in 1953 for which the United States spent dlrs 21 million.

... Payvand News - 12/9/03 ... --

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