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Arezou Saaberi
Arezou Saaberi
There comes a time in life when you have to choose whether to turn the page or to close the book!


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“Neither this way, nor that way; fuck Khamenei & his office (literal translation: “my dick in Khamenei’s house)” was one of the slogans that was shouted by a large crowd of protesting students during the gathering of Sharif University of Technology students, on Sunday evening, October 2, 2022, in front of the university’s Azadi Street entrance. What happened after the protests that day – the raid of regime oppressive forces on students, the siege and armed attack on the university, the arrest and wounding of the students, we until now have no accurate and reliable information, neither about their number nor about their health condition – needs researching, documenting and talking to eyewitnesses of this disaster, which is not the subject of this article.

October 2, 2022, Sharif University students chanted: “Neither this way, nor that way; fuck Khamenei & his office (literal translation: “my dick in Khamenei’s house)”

If you search today, 72 hours after that Black Sunday, Persian-language media and news agencies, both domestic and foreign, regarding the events of Sharif University, you will notice a common feature between all of them. You will find words and phrases such as “obscene slogans” (Mashregh News), “vulgar slogans” (Jahan News, referring to the tweet of Malik Shariati, a member of the Islamic Consultative Assembly), “profanities” (Radio Zamaneh, referring to the students’ slogans as a reaction to the Basijs’ cursing). In some reports and narratives, such as Radio Farda’s report of the “terrible attack by security agents” or the Persian BBC‘s “narrative of the night of repression and terror”, you will not find any mention of slogans. This is when “Neither this way, nor that way; fuck Khamenei & his office” has been announced by the IRGC-media and news agencies and the regime’s security institutions as the main reason for the armed attack on Sharif University. Rasoul Jalili, President of Sharif University, confirmed this point in his statement, too: “Anyone who has committed an act or slogan or abnormality at the university campus should be investigated according to the university’s protocols, and the security officials agreed.” The topic of this article is exactly the investigation of this “common ellipsis in the persian media”, this “vulgar words”.

December 30, 2017, University of Tehran. The students chanted: “Reformists, hardliners, It’s game over.” This was the first time that a sentence was shouted in denial of the entirety of the regime. The university was the origin and place of this political formula. Both main gangs in the Islamic Republic sect were targeted in this slogan. The slogan has 3 parts. The first two parts of the slogan call the two gangs that share power. The third part declares the end of the “story” of people’s companionship and public trust towards the two gangs. 5 years later, in the same atmosphere of a university, the same slogan is shouted in a different way with the same three sections. “Neither this way, nor that way;  fuck Khamenei & his office” is nothing but a radical translation of “reformists, hardliners; It’s game over.” The radical aspect of the October 2 slogan comes from the fact that it is no longer a warning, it no longer targets an audience, it does not threaten anyone or a gang. In the first two parts, two “no”s are pounded on the chest of the political structure. The third part takes advantage of the erotic force used in sexual words and makes “Khamenei’s office” to feel the pain. Sexual words have amazing arousal power, not just in the bedroom. In battle too. In a fight, cursing sometimes replaces fists. In the process of forming a fight, sexual swearing is often the last step before the fight turns into a face-to-face conflict and a physical fight. And during a physical conflict, curses are considered a source of strength. “Neither this way, nor that way;  fuck Khamenei & his office” marked exactly this historical moment in the conflict between the people and the regime.

Khamenei’s office got hurt and attacked. And the Persian-language media, due to the ethical norms caused by tradition and the habitual censorship by the government, were unable to record and analyze this historical chant.

Translation of this post by Sahar.

Analysis of Censored Slogan Which Led to Sharif University Tragedy