January 4, 2011

NIAC Calls for Stanford to Address Professor’s Discriminatory Anti-Iranian Remarks

Washington, DC – A Stanford professor has come under fire for making discriminatory, anti-Iranian remarks through email correspondence and web postings.

In one email to an Iranian graduate student, the professor responded to an inquiry about admission to his department saying, “even if I were in a position to help, I will not help Iranian students until Iran recognizes and respects Israel as the land of the Jewish people.” The professor went on to write, “If Iranians want the benefits of Stanford and other institutions in the US, they have to respect the values we hold in the US…”

The professor’s public Stanford website includes a page entitled “Answers to All Questions Iranian,” in which he expresses his political views on questions such as why the US shot down an Iranian airliner in the 1988 or why the CIA deposed Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh in 1953. The page, written as a series of questions from Iranians with answers from the professor, also includes the question, “Can I get into Stanford?” with the response, “Probably not.”

Iranian Americans, notably Dr. Fredun Hojabri, the former Professor and Academic-Vice Chancellor of Sharif university of Technology, have raised the situation with Stanford. NIAC condemned the “racially discriminatory and inflammatory public communications” in a letter to Stanford’s president. NIAC called for Stanford, which is home to a large population of Iranian and Iranian-American students, to clarify the university’s position regarding the remarks and to take disciplinary measures.

NIAC emphasized in its letter that many young Iranians face persecution from the Ahmadinejad government for their political views, often facing banishment from Iranian universities if associated with views held against the government. “It is abhorrent that similar discrimination on political grounds would confront young Iranians seeking to study abroad at American universities.”

Read NIAC’s letter to Stanford’s President




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