The Iranian Students Association (continued)

Princess Ashraf Escorted by Guard after the Ceremony

Princess Ashraf Escorted by Guard after the Ceremony

The protests were the culmination of the protest against the Shah’s reign in Iran at Johns Hopkins in the 1970s. The Iranian Students Association at Johns Hopkins was a remarkable representative of Iranian students in the United States in in this decade, which was the greatest foreign student group with a total number around 54,000.  Very much oppressed under the Shah’s regime, the political protests were less successful within Iran than they were abroad, especially in the United States, which represented freedom and personal rights at the time. However, the political struggle was more complicated because the United States had strongly supported its ally in the Middle East, the Shah.[1] And in the 1970s, the US government invited the Shah and his family for several visits to the United States, setting a series of protests from the Iranian students in motion at a great number of universities across the country. The protest at Hopkins was a compelling case of the dilemma in this national student campaign. On the one hand, the Iranian students engaged themselves in the civil disobedience that they believed would make their voices heard. On the other, the interest of the United States in the Middle East was aligned with the Shah, which complicated the staging of the Iranian Students’ political demonstrations. Even in this complicated situation, the Iranian students in US colleges never gave up voicing their opinions. In this campaign, the Iranian Student Association at Johns Hopkins had been working closely with the committee of Iranian Student Association in Baltimore area and had connected to the nationwide political demonstrations of Iranian students.