SUTA has raised its concern on the new policy taken by University of Massachusetts in prohibiting Iranian students to get admitted in graduate studies. We have sent the following letter to University Presidents.
February 16, 2015
Dr. Robert L. Caret,
President of the University of Massachusetts,
Dr. Kumble R. Subbaswamy,
Chancellor UMASS Amherst,
Dr. John J. McCarthy,
Dean of UMASS Graduate School
On behalf of Sharif University of Technology Association (SUTA), I am writing you to express our concern about University of Massachusetts Amherst’s new policy on prohibiting the admittance of Iranian students for Science and Technology studies.
In the last 10 years, several US institutions such as IEEE and American Chemical Society have introduced restrictions on membership and publication by Iranians, with the argument to comply with the U.S. sanction laws, but they subsequently removed these restrictions, due to pressure from their own members, and reconsideration of U.S. sanction laws. We believe no US academic institution has been fined for accepting Iranian students until now.
Iranian scholars in general, and graduates of Sharif University of Technologies in particular have been very instrumental in the development and advancement of US academic programs around the nation. Moreover, U.S administrations have always stressed on the improvement of cultural relations among the two nations, particularly through academic relations.
Even with the current U.S Sanctions against Iran, We believe that the measure taken by UMass is an extreme interpretation of U.S. Sanction law. The emphasis of many U.S officials on more rigorous cultural exchange among two nations is a sign of how U.S sanctions on Iran is targeted on particular areas, and should not be extended to any cultural and academic relations among nationals of two countries.
We hope the values of academic and cultural relations would prevail and UMass Amherst would reconsider its decision.
Masoud Olfat, Ph.D.
President of Sharif University Association (SUTA)