'Weren't The Sanctions Not Supposed To Hurt Ordinary Iranians?'
By Golnaz Esfandiari,
Iranians who want an international qualification in English may have to go
abroad for testing.
ETS, the U.S.-based organization that administers
the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and other exams, has said on
its website that
it is suspending temporarily registration in Iran as a result of the UN
resolution affecting banks and financial institutions that do business with
The ETS statement reads:
The United Nations Security Council has passed a
resolution affecting banks and financial institutions that conduct business
in Iran. As a result of this resolution, ETS is currently unable to process
payments from Iran and has had to temporarily suspend registration until
alternative arrangements can be made. Please check back after July 22 for an
The deputy head of Iran's Organization for the
Evaluation of Education, Ebrahim Khodayi, has said that there are "some
problems" with the registration for the TOEFL test in Iran, adding that
officials are working on solving them.
Khodayi said the suspension of the TOEFL test in Iran is not related to the
sanctions and expressed hope that the issue will be solved by July 22.
A 20-year-old student in Tehran who didn't want to be identified told RFE/RL
that young Iranians willing to study outside the country would have to travel to
neighboring Turkey or Armenia to pass the TOEFL test.
"It will just lead to more pressure on the people. Weren't the sanctions not
supposed to hurt ordinary citizens?" the student said. "This is against what the
U.S. leaders have been saying."
He added that the suspension of the TOEFL exam and similar problems resulting
from the sanctions "will make people view sanctions negatively. The
Revolutionary Guard will not be hurt by this. [Ordinary] people have to pay the
Tehran-based education expert Shirzad Abdollahi told the Persian
language service of the BBCthat no one expected the sanctions to cause
problems for Iran's educated class. "It just demonstrates that the claim about
'smart sanctions' is just a myth, and sanctions will cause more problems for
people," Abdollahi was quoted as saying.
Iranian officials have downplayed the UN sanctions and U.S. measures against
Iran over its sensitive nuclear work, saying that those moves won't make Iran
Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Musavi said
earlier this month that it is clear as day that UN sanctions will affect the
Iranian economy and security and put pressure on the Iranian people.
Copyright (c) 2010 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org
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