This is another example that current sanctions hurt people and not the regime. While Khamenei’s wealth has grown under the sanctions, and specific military linked fundamentalist groups have benefited greatly, Iranian economy has toppled and people’s lives have gotten worse. One of the groups worst hit by these sanctions are Iranian students who study abroad, who have trouble getting money into the foreign countries, who have also suffered because of the 300% drop of currency value. And now this is another example.
Academics from Norway’s top technical university have expressed concern after almost a dozen post-graduate science students from Iran had their residence permits cancelled because of international sanctions.
“When I first heard about this, I just couldn’t believe it,” says 27-year-old Hamideh Kaffash who was about to start a PhD in material engineering at the prestigious Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).
She’s one of 10 Iranian post-graduates who have received letters from the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration in recent months informing them that they must leave the country.
The letters say that Norway’s Police and Security Service has ruled that their studies could result in the transfer of sensitive technology which could help Iran develop its nuclear industry.
The security services say this would put Norway in breach of international sanctions in place against Iran over its disputed nuclear programme.
But Hamideh says her speciality has nothing to do with the nuclear industry.
“I’m working on a project to reducing Co2 emission in ferromanganese production,” she says. “It’s a project which will benefit the environment and is now being applied in Iran.”
They have challenged the ruling, and many other students and lecturers have joined them in protest. It’s very hard for Iranian students to go abroad, and to deal the financial hardships. It’s wrong to let political sanctions destroy the future and the dreams of young people.