Tehran, Dec. 7 (Reuters): About 3,000 Iranian students chanted “freedom for political prisoners” today and called for a referendum on Iran’s political future in the first major pro-reform rally in Tehran for nearly two weeks.
The demonstration at Tehran University, which coincided with National Students Day, followed two weeks of almost daily rallies by students last month, which were the largest pro-reform protests in the Islamic Republic for more than three years.
The protests were sparked by a death sentence imposed on a reformist academic but quickly took on wider political significance, reflecting simmering tension in the country of 65 million people over the slow pace of political reform.
“Referendum, referendum!” the students chanted today as they marched, clapping and whistling, around the large campus.
Student leaders, four of whom were briefly arrested last month for organising the protests, have said they plan to hold a symbolic referendum of students on Iran’s political future.