By Mike Scollon, RFE/RL's Radio Farda
Former Iranian presidential candidate and nuclear negotiator Said Jalili surfaced this week at a Tehran technical university to lecture students on the benefits of nuclear power. But video of the event shows that the hard-liner's message was drowned out by opposition-minded students.
Students hold photos of Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at the meeting
(source: Shargh daily)
Billed by Amirkabir University as a "nuclear celebration," the event was headlined by speakers Jalili and the former chairman of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, Fereydun Abbasi.
Basiji students filled the front rows, waiting for their chance to raise posters and banners critical of the softer approach Tehran has taken in international nuclear negotiations under new President Hassan Rohani and his foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif.
But pandemonium broke loose when students in the back disrupted the event by calling for much more openness at home and abroad. RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports that the students sang songs and shouted slogans as Jalili tried to address the students, and chanted messages of support for the release of opposition leaders Mir Hussain Musavi and Mehdi Karrubi, who have been under house arrest since 2011.
Among the chants were "Free Musavi and Karrubi," and "Free political prisoners!" All in all it took 45 minutes for things to quiet down enough for the lecture to proceed.
Raw video footage of scene was posted on April 14 on the Facebook page of the news website "Setade Salam":
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