Iran students face expulsion from Norway over sanctions

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.

Via BBC:

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.”

Read the whole report here.

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.

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About Kaveh Mousavi

Kaveh Mousavi is the pseudonym of an atheist ex-Muslim living in Iran, subject to one of the world’s remaining theocracies. He is a student of English Literature, an aspiring novelist, and part-time English teacher. He is passionate about politics, video games, heavy metal music, and cinema. He was born at the tenth anniversary of the Islamic Revolution of Iran. He has ditched the Islamic part, but has kept some of the revolutionary spirit.

  • Robert B.

    Percent changes (at least in English, I suppose it might be different in other languages) are calculated relative to the starting value. A 300% decrease would mean you had to pay someone twice the former value of the money to take it away from you. For example, if a ten dollar value decreased by 300%, it would be worth negative twenty dollars.

    Perhaps you meant a 75% decrease?

    • Kaveh Mousavi

      1 dollar used to be 1000 tomans and now it’s 3000 tomans.

      Everyone on all media calls it %300 decrease, although admittedly I don’t know shit about maths and I’m just parroting others.

  • http://giliellthinkingaloud.blogspot.com/ Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Since when is collective punishment an OK form again?

    Punishing people because of their country of origin is generally frowned upon as racist when done by individuals, how is that any different when done by a country?

  • http://www.math.ntnu.no/~hanche/ Harald Hanche-Olsen

    It is not intended as collective punishment, but a way to hinder the transfer of sensitive technologies. That such embargoes also hurts individuals, is considered an unfortunate necessity.

    That said, it seems clear that the people in charge don’t understand the issue, and perhaps they have received bad advice from someone who should understand it. But it is my impression that the university has not been consulted in the matter, and in fact they have objected loudly. I work at this university myself, and I am pleased with the university’s handling of the situation. It’s the immigration authorities that are to blame for this mess. Incidentally, this is also interfering with many research projects. After all, much of the research work is done by PhD students.

  • eddie

    I don’t know why people are still surprised by this, or thinking; that’s not how sanctions are supposed to work. It was ever thus.

    The purpose of sanctions is not to overthrow a regime. It used to be to make its subjects miserable enough to do it for you. But even this is no longer effective as people subject to sanctions now gain a ‘blitz spirit’ knowing the source of their problems are outside.

    Nowadays, the US uses sanctions, and other forms of state terrorism, to manufacture anti-US sentiment as this is good for the profits of arms companies.


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