Iranian daily: Sacking university professors will wither society

A leading Iranian daily has lashed out at the government for the recent dismissal of a number of high-profile university professors who arguably hold critical views and replacing them with like-minded and sometimes “bizarre cases.”

Ettela’at wrote in an article on Tuesday that the discharging spree in some of Iran’s most prestigious universities has created a tense atmosphere, which will take away hopes in academic centers and consequently the entire Iranian society.

The terminations, at the cusp of the reopening of universities and on the anniversary of the 2022 nationwide riots and protests, have prompted debates over whether they are linked to support for last year’s unrest.

Ali Sharifi Zarchi, a professor of bioinformatics and artificial intelligence at internationally-renowned Sharif University of Technology in Tehran, is among dozens of top professors who have been expelled since President Ebrahim Raisi took office two years ago.

On Tuesday, many reformist newspapers, including Arman-e Melli, ran front-page stories on controversial religious eulogist Saeed Haddadian who is slated to teach “Literature of Resistance” for a master’s program at Tehran University.

Citing sociological studies in different countries, Ettela’at wrote there is direct link between universities and their spillover effects on societies, warning the move will lead to an academic and social decline.

This comes as pro-government figures and dailies have defended the moves.

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