Iran’s largest student organization, Daftar-e Tahkim-e Vahdat, announced that the student movement should broaden its focus from political issues and pay more attention to labour and academic issues in order to “explore apolitical activism in universities.”

An announcement issued today, in the lead-up to Iran’s National Student’s Day on December 7, describes the approach as a move to “keep student protests alive in universities.”

The student organization adds that in view of the dominant political-security atmosphere in Iran, the student movement can direct its attention to apolitical issues such as professional, scientific, literary and sports issues. The group says those issues could become focal points for organized student action, thus reinvigorating student unity.

The announcement also condemns the “unprecedented severity” of the government’s human rights violations since the 2009 election and maintains that this policy has taken “a heavy toll” on the reputation of the Islamic Republic under the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.

The announcement goes on to condemn the arrest and stiff jail sentences handed out to student activists.