The University of Massachusetts at Amherst has banned Iranian nationals from admission to certain graduate programs in a move that school officials say aligns its policy with US sanctions against Iran. The university will no longer admit students from Iran to some programs in engineering and natural sciences. The National Iranian American Council says that interpretation of the law is flawed and may violate protections against discrimination.
Congress enacted legislation in August 2012 that denies visas for Iranian citizens to study in the US if they plan to study for a career in the energy or nuclear fields in Iran. But a US State Department official says federal law doesn’t prohibit qualified Iranian nationals from seeking an education in science and engineering. Each application is reviewed on a case-by-case basis.