American university professors demand Biden take ‘urgent action’ amid Iran’s protest crackdown The Hill’s Morning Report – Sponsored by Facebook – Washington on edge amid SCOTUS vacancy This week: Your guide to the election calendar. Sign Up Loading By JIM ZUCKERMAN Associated Press Published: February 16, 2019 This image provided by the National Archives shows Senator Joseph Lieberman being sworn in at the U.S. Capitol as he enters his first term in office. Chuck Cooper / AP A group of U.S. university professors calling for Vice President Joe Biden to meet with Iranian student leaders to discuss the protests said Sunday he must take “urgent action” if the country is to regain trust in its democracy. The group, which has met with more than 100 such students over the past week, said Biden has not done enough to meet with them. The professors say that when Biden meets with students and their families, he should not ask them to sign petitions for action, but instead, talk directly with them and listen to their concerns. “If Vice President Biden has not taken the political initiative and been willing to meet with them, he needs to step up,” said a statement from the Association of American University Professors. “He must listen.” The professors also want the Trump administration to release student data so the public can assess the situation. “The government must be transparent to the American people,” said the statement. A large group of student protesters have taken over universities and universities across the country in the worst unrest since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. They have blocked roads, disrupted classes, fired pepper spray and attacked police. Iran’s interior minister said Saturday that the government has arrested 8,000 people in an operation to restore order.
An Iranian police officer guards the entrance to the Imam Khomeini Airport near Tehran, Iran, on Saturday. Reza Moradi/AP “He needs to hear from the American students, not just ‘We demand free expression,’ ” said professor David Kennedy, who has met with college students and their families in four states in the past 10 weeks. “The students have a different agenda, and it has to be addressed.” Kennedy and other professors met with protest leaders Saturday evening. “I do not want to hear their demands,” said the Rev. Dr. William Barber, an evangelical pastor and an executive at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. He told reporters he had not met with protest leaders, but was familiar with their