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Struggle over Iran’s largest private university heats up

The clash over the future of Islamic Azad University, perhaps the biggest legacy of the late Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, heats up in Iran.
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On April 23, hours after the conservative daily Kayhan proclaimed that “[Islamic] Azad University is awaiting major restructuring,” four members of the institution’s nine-member board of trustees called a special session. Later in the day, Hamid Mirzadeh, the president of Islamic Azad University (IAU), received a note telling him to either resign voluntarily or be discharged by the weekend.

Mirzadeh’s sudden replacement drew an outcry among Reformists, who fear that the country’s largest private university is slowly falling into the hands of rival conservative factions.

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