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In December 1953, less than four months after the Anglo-American-instigated coup to topple Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh, students at Tehran University went on strike and organized a series of demonstrations. On Dec. 7, 1953, students held a rally to oppose the re-establishment of relations with Britain, as well as the visit of US Vice President Richard Nixon to his close — and recently reinstated — ally, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. The day ended in bloodshed as the Iranian army entered Tehran University campus and shot dead three students. Ever since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Iranian officials have commemorated the bloodshed on the 16th of Azar in the Iranian calendar — which fell on Dec. 6 this year — as Student Day, or Rooz-e-Daneshjoo. This event should not be confused with the other Student Day, Rooz-e-Daneshamooz, which falls on the 13th of Aban, or the anniversary of the November 1979 takeover of the US Embassy in Tehran.

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