Iranian University Students Rally to Condemn Anti-Government Protest

Crowds of students from Shaihd Beheshti University of Tehran staged gathering against anti-government protesters who took to the streets in the capital on Sunday night.

The students vented their anger against the protesters who took to the streets to allegedly complain about the Ukrainian plane incident which claimed the lives of all passengers and crew.

The main cause of disagreement is that students believe that the illegal gatherings are endangering the security of civilians on the streets where some foreign-backed elements take advantage of the situation and open fire on passersby to accuse police of violent crackdown.

The students vowed support are also angry with the kind of slogans chanted which they describe them as anti-norms and anti-conventions.

The General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces said in a statement on Saturday that the Ukrainian Boeing 737 plane was shot down as a hostile object due to human error at a time of heightened US threats of war.

The statement said an expert investigation by the General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces after the Ukrainian airline company’s Boeing 737 incident has found that flight 752 of the Ukrainian airlines has been shot down as a hostile flying object that was approaching a sensitive IRGC center and was shot down due to human error few hours after Iran’s missile attack on the US and as Iran’s military was expecting attacks by the US army.

A Boeing 737 plane carrying 180 passengers and crew, mostly Iranians, crashed shortly after takeoff from Imam Khomeini Airport in Tehran early Wednesday, leaving no survivors.

Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei in a message on Saturday extended his condolences again on the death of the Ukrainian plane’s passengers, and ordered the Armed Forces to take the needed measures to find faults and flaws that have led to the bitter incident and prevent repetition of similar incidents in future.

In his message, the Leader renewed his most heartfelt sympathy and condolences to the bereaved families of the victims, and reiterated his “order to the General Staff of the Armed Forces to probe into possible faults and flaws in this painful accident,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.

He also underscored the need for the relevant Iranian directors and officials to launch the necessary follow-ups to prevent repetition of such incidents in future.

Also, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani extended condolences to the families of those killed in the Ukrainian plane incident, and promised that all those who have been guilty in the unforgivable mistake of shooting down the jet will be prosecuted.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran deeply regrets this disastrous mistake… My thoughts and prayers go to all the mourning families. I offer my sincerest condolences,” Rouhani said in a statement on Saturday.

The president stressed that “the terrible catastrophe should be thoroughly investigated, and those responsible for this unforgivable mistake will definitely be identified and prosecuted”.

Russian State Duma (parliament’s lower house) Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin blamed the United States for the exacerbation of tensions in the Middle East that led to the launch of the Iranian missile at the passenger plane of the Ukraine International Airlines near Tehran.

On Monday, the Iranian Foreign Ministry categorically condemned British Ambassador Robert Macaire’s meddlesome behavior in Tehran where the envoy was arrested for provoking anti-government protests, cautioning that the next case of such destructive and illegal behaviors will be responded more harshly.

On Saturday, a senior police official told local media that Macaire was arrested during a mourning vigil which turned into a protest in front of the Amir Kabir University in downtown Tehran where he was organizing and provoking people.

local media cited “informed sources” as saying that Macaire had been holding secret meetings inside a shop opposite the main gate of the Amir Kabir University to monitor the developments that led to the protest on Saturday.

During the meeting at the Foreign Ministry, Macaire was reminded that the presence of foreign ambassadors in unlawful gatherings is not in line with their responsibilities as a political representative of their country and it is contrary to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961.

Meanwhile, it is noted that the British government should explain this matter.

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office has commented on the arrest of its ambassador in Tehran, terming it as being against international norms.

Some parliamentarians urged the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to take the necessary measures against the UK ambassador’s move, which they said is “against all international norms”. 

Macaire was summoned by the Iranian Foreign Ministry on Sunday to receive an official protest note due to his unusual behavior and participation in an unlawful gathering held in front of the Amir Kabir University in downtown Tehran on Saturday night.

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