NewsSpecial WireIran shuts down arts university in historic city

Iran shuts down arts university in historic city

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Iran Focus: Tehran, Iran, Aug. 23 – The closure of the Arts University in Isfahan, central Iran, has angered arts students and lecturers. An official decree gave the university staff three months to clear out of the campus so that the buildings could be used by Bonyad Mostazafin (Foundation of the Deprived). Bonyad Mostazafin was formed in 1979 to take control of the huge assets of the abolished royal household, as well as much of the assets and funds confiscated from businessmen associated with the former regime. Iran Focus

Tehran, Iran, Aug. 23 – The closure of the Arts University in Isfahan, central Iran, has angered arts students and lecturers.

An official decree gave the university staff three months to clear out of the campus so that the buildings could be used by Bonyad Mostazafin (Foundation of the Deprived). Bonyad Mostazafin was formed in 1979 to take control of the huge assets of the abolished royal household, as well as much of the assets and funds confiscated from businessmen associated with the former regime. Since then, the foundation has grown into an opaque financial empire, accountable to none other than Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

In a statement, the university’s employees’ union criticised the Ministry of Higher Education for failing to defend the university in keeping its campus. “Is the waste of one or two terms’ of valuable efforts by near to 1,000 students so unimportant and repetitive that you have done it such injustice and kept silent”?

Iran’s new hard-line government under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is expected to take a tough line on cultural and artistic activities, much of which is considered as anti-Islamic by the ultra-conservatives in power. As the mayor of Tehran, Ahmadinejad converted the capital’s cultural centres into prayer halls.

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