Student protests will be held across Iran today

Nationwide student protests are expected in Iran as exams begin. Large and nearly daily demonstrations challenging the oppressive theocracy have

Student protests will be held across Iran today as exam season begins, continuing calls for government reform. Photo: Ozan Guzelce/Sipa via AP Images

Nationwide student protests are expected in Iran as exams begin.

Large and nearly daily demonstrations challenging the oppressive theocracy have taken place since September following the death of Mahsa Amini. Protests groups have called for further demonstrations today and tomorrow, during scheduled university exams. Tensions remain high following the government’s execution of two men last week following criticized closed-door trials for allegedly killing a paramilitary volunteer during a demonstration.

Student demonstrations show no signs of dwindling despite Tehran’s  harsh crackdown, resulting in expulsions, arrests, and long prison sentences . The government has already discussed nation-wide internet cuts during the exams under the pretext of preventing cheating, a tactic it has repeatedly used to prevent large gatherings. Frequent internet outages are straining the country’s already worsening economy.

The number of students gathering to take tests is highly likely to catalyze demonstrations despite increased IRGC security. Internet cuts can be expected, although demonstrators are likely to have coordinated their movements before protests begin. It is likely that internet cuts will persist for some days after the exams. Continued student protests are unlikely to bring change in the short to medium-term, given the theocracy’s sustained efforts to disperse gatherings through force and intimidation.