Turmoil in Tehran

Regime Cracks Down on 'Star Students'

While most countries praise top scholars, the regime in Iran is trying to derail top students' academic and professional careers by punishing and beating them for their accomplishments. On Wednesday, students in northeastern Iran were attacked and beaten by a pro-government militia, only one of several attacks since Sunday's protests. University students dubbed as "star students"—meaning they are considered a threat by the intelligence ministry, as opposed to ranking at the top of their class—are the targets of these attacks, and have been arrested and banned from education as part of Iran's aggressive policy toward them. Some students believe their "star" status comes from political activism, but several graduate students (even those who are not politically active), have been subject to arrest. Former education minister Mostafa Moin says over 1,000 graduates have been blocked from higher education since the practice initiated in 2006.