Thousands of student protesters gathered at universities in Tehran and other cities across Iran on Monday, chanting antigovernment slogans and fighting with security forces in what appeared to be the most violent street protests since the summer.
The main entrance to Tehran University was sealed off by security forces, while clashes broke out between protesters and tens of thousands of Basij militiamen in squares around the city, witnesses and opposition Web sites reported. Protests erupted at universities throughout the country, including Kerman, Mashhad, Isfahan and Hamdean. The opposition staged a street rally in Shiraz.
Witnesses said there was an anger to the protests not seen since the summer months, when protests broke out after the June 12 presidential election, which the opposition has dismissed as fraudulent. The Basij responded with ferocity, using copious amounts of tear gas, electrical truncheons and stun guns in an effort to disperse the crowds.