FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jamal Abdi
Washington, DC – The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) welcomes the University of Massachusetts at Amherst’s decision today to reverse its policy to ban Iranian students from certain fields and looks forward to learning more about its new approach. NIAC President Trita Parsi released the following statement:
“Sanctions have caused many problems, but they are not an excuse to discriminate against Iranian students. UMass has done the right thing to correct its mistake and we look forward to learning full details about how its new policy will ensure Iranian students are not discriminated against.
“We sympathize with the burdens that the sanctions have imposed on academic institutions and hope that eventually these measures are lifted. Broad sanctions have punished many unintended victims but today’s action ensures that further pain will not be passed onto young Iranians who aspire to study in American universities.
“NIAC congratulates the UMass students and faculty who successfully raised objections to this policy and appreciates the efforts of the State Department and Treasury Department for working with the school directly to address this issue.
“NIAC has worked to resolve the impact of sanctions on Iranian students many times in the past, including when TOEFL tests were suspended for Iranians, online courses were restricted for people inside Iran, and in the effort to secure multiple-entry student visa privileges for Iranians. We are pleased to have played a role in ensuring this latest problem was addressed.
“Ultimately, these issues will not go away until broad sanctions are lifted. We hope that diplomacy between the U.S. and Iran can succeed in eventually achieving this. In the meantime, we will continue to work to prevent sanctions from punishing ordinary Iranians and Iranian Americans.”