Iranian students protest against IAEA inspections of universities
Tehran: Iranian students protest against IAEA at Tehran university on Sunday held protest rallies against recent UN nuclear agency's inspections of Iranian universities and demanded a ban for such visits in future, media reports said.
UN nuclear watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) carried out inspection programmes in two Iranian universities last week which sparked reactions from the Iranian political groups.
At Shahid Beheshti University, the students carried pictures of Iranian nuclear scientists assassinated over the past decade.
A similar rally was held at Tehran's Sharif University of Technology, where students formed a symbolic human chain.
They called on state officials to prevent such visits which have sparked a flurry of condemnation by Iranian officials.
Last week, Fereidoun Abbasi, former head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, denounced as "unacceptable" the recent inspections of two Iranian universities by IAEA inspectors.
The IAEA inspections of Iranian academic centers were an inherently "wrong and unacceptable" move, Abbasi said.
Besides, there was no reason for the inspectors to visit the offices of professors at the universities either, he added.
Abbasi also expressed doubts that future inspections of Iran's universities and scientific centers would be limited to specific time and places.
He said that the inspections might go on as long as Iran's nuclear dossier is being considered as a special case by the IAEA.
"Such visits and inspections may even spread to military sectors and to our military and research universities," Abbasi warned.
The IAEA inspectors had visited Iran University of Science and Technology and Sharif University of Technology.
Following the media releases, Science Minister Mansour Gholami said Iran's Supreme National Security Council had authorized the inspections.
He denounced the claims that such visits would damage national interests, saying that the inspections by the IAEA did not go any further than "visiting the laboratories" and it was not followed by any problems.