Iranian security forces clashed with students at a prestigious university in Tehran on Sunday. The news of this conflict has spread through various social and state media. A large number of students were reportedly trapped in the parking lot of Tehran’s Sharif University due to the clashes. Reuters news.

Anti-government protests that began on September 17 during the funeral of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in the Kurdish town of Saqqez have turned into the biggest demonstration of opposition to Iranian authorities in years. Many in the movement have also called for the overthrow of Iran’s more than four-decade rule of Islamic clerics.

A video posted by activist Twitter account 1500Tasvir, which has 160,000 followers, showed dozens of riot police surrounding Sharif University, traditionally a hotbed of dissent. Security forces are firing tear gas to drive students from the campus and gunshots can be heard in the distance.

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

Iran’s state media described “reports of clashes” at the university, saying the country’s science minister visited the campus to assess the situation.

Students were protesting in numerous universities on Sunday. Protests were seen in several cities such as Tehran, Yazd, Kermanshah, Sanandaz, Shiraz and Mashhad. Posts circulating on social media showed protesters chanting ‘freedom, freedom, death to Khamenei’.

The protests did not stop despite the mounting death toll and tear gas fired by security forces, with gunfire in some places, according to videos from rights groups.

“So far 133 people have been killed across Iran, including more than 40 in clashes in Jahedan, the capital of southeastern Sistan-Baluchistan province last week,” the Norway-based group Iran Human Rights said in a statement.

Iranian authorities have not released a death toll. However, it claimed that many members of the security forces were killed by “foreign enemy-backed rioters and thugs”. Last week, state television reported that 41 people, including members of the security forces, had died.

Ayatollah Ali Khomeini, the supreme leader of Iran’s supreme authority, did not comment on the nationwide protests. The protests have so far spread across 31 provinces in Iran and have involved people from all walks of life, including ethnic and religious minorities.

Iranian state media shared a video of pro-government students. The video shows them gathering at Ferdowsi University in Mashhad and chanting ‘Islamic Republic is our red line’.

Earlier on Sunday, Iranian lawmakers chanted ‘thank you, police’ during a parliament session in support of a crackdown on massive anti-government protests.

(03 October)