Bizarre political drama unfolded on Thursday where Iran has cast itself as a defender of student rights and liberty.

According to Iran International, Iran’s Foreign Ministry’s issued sanctions against 11 university chiefs and metropolitan police department heads for “suppressing” pro-Hamas demonstrators at US universities between April and June.

Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has publicly supported these antisemitic campus protests, framing them as part of a “broader resistance” against the West following Hamas’ massacre on October 7 that resulted in 1,200 Israeli civilian deaths and 250 hostages taken.

However, many Iranians view Khamenei’s new found moral voice as hypocritical, given his own abysmal record of suppressing academic freedoms.

Educational authorities in Iran reportedly impose a comprehensive ban on using popular social media platforms like X, Facebook, and Instagram. For closed messaging services like Telegram, students are required to obtain permits for groups with over 100 members. Violations can result in severe punishments, including a 5-year ban from attending any institution of higher learning.

Likewise, Iranian universities are cracking down on dress code violations. After a female student was caught wearing her hijab improperly in May at Tehran’s Amir Kabir University of Technology, over 200 students protested and were subsequently expelled from school.

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