Iranian student group Daftar-e Tahkim-e Vahdat issued this statement:
Those Who Have Armed and Encouraged… Hamas Have Innocent Blood on Their Hands The communiqué stated: “Those who have armed and encouraged groups like Hamas – which only yesterday did not hide its sympathy for the criminal Saddam Hussein, and which declared three days of mourning after his death – have innocent blood on their hands: [the blood of those killed] in the [recent] hostilities [in Gaza]. Now it is they who must be accountable to humanity, and it is they who must explain this tragic situation.
“Israel’s current crimes in Gaza are strongly condemned – but it is equally [important] to condemn the terror organizations that use kindergartens and hospitals as a shield against the [Israeli] attacks. [Hamas’s use of human shields] prepares the ground for intensified bombardment [by Israel] and for the killing of children and civilians, and [therefore] it is an inhuman act.
“Daftar-e Tahkim-e Vahdat strongly condemns the current situation in the Gaza Strip and the killing of civilians and innocents. It believes that the sacrifice of defenseless people – especially children – [in Gaza] is the result of other conflicts in the regional and international arena.
“It had been expected that peace and human rights organizations would have done more to stop this inhuman slaughter before the disaster reached such [devastating] proportions – despite the difficulties thrown up by certain leaders…”
Meanwhile, in Ahwaz City, an event which is ironic on multiple levels took place:
A demonstration by Ahwazi Arabs in solidarity with Gazan Arabs was violently put down by Iranian security forces on Thursday 8 January with the Ahwaz Human Rights Organisation (AHRO) reporting that 37 Arab demonstrators were still being held today.
Ahwazi Arabs were responding to a call from a coalition of Ahwazi Arab democratic non-governmental organisations and staged a solidarity march. The demonstration coincided with 9th of Ashura, an important Shi’ite religious holiday in Iran and took place in Ahwaz City, where Arabs are the largest ethnic group.
Thousands gathered at an assembly point at the beginning of the march at Hay-al-Thora (Revolution Square) and proceeded towards Hay al-Azizieh (Bani-Hashem) square. Halfway into the march, Iranian security forces attacked the peaceful demonstrators, firing high calibre weapons into the air to disperse them. The security forces blocked some of the escape routes and arrested a large number of the participants.
Gene adds: Publishing the statement by the Iranian student group is what got the reformist newspaper Kargozaran shut down.