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University under Siege: The Case of the Professors’ Basij Organization


The purpose of this article is to analyze the evolution of the Professors’ Basij Organization (PBO) and its role in maintaining state control over Iranian universities. This study will examine why and how the PBO became involved in politics in general and in controlling Iranian universities in particular, and will discuss the implications of the expansion of the PBO at Iranian universities. While the PBO has been helping the Islamic regime control Iranian universities through different methods, including repressing the student movement and training a new cadre for the Islamic regime, it has transformed into one of the most influential organizations in Iran’s political structure, especially after hardliners assumed power in 2005.