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Czech University Denies Admission to Iranian Student, Citing Sanctions

Source: Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB)

Over the past several months, there have been widespread media reports regarding the negative impact of sanctions on ordinary Iranian citizens including the alarming medicine shortages in Iran and barriers to accessing financial institutions. More recently, students became the newest target of sanctions by being banned from higher education programs and from opening accounts at major US banks.

Historical Photo on Discrimination: An African-American child at a segregated drinking fountain on a courthouse lawn, North Carolina, 1938.

IAAB's Campus Action Networks (I-CAN) condemns the attacks on the rights of students to access a fair and equal education. 

In the latest case, a Czech Technical University is rejecting applications from students currently residing in Iran. The decision, as an excerpt of the letter states below, has been made in order to enforce and implement sanctions against Iran.

"I have to apologize, but unfortunately your application cannot be considered. I am really very sorry, but unfortunately on the basis of the instruction of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Repulic and the Faculty of Civil Engineering of the Czech Technical University in Prague, students from the Islamic Republic of Iran are not accepted into study into Master degree programmes nor PhD programmes. They are only allowed to study Bachelor degrees...It is a decision of the Czech government and the Czech Ministry of Education that they made in order to enforce and implement the UN resolution and the Decisions of the Council of the European Union setting up sanctions against Iran. Similar limitations are valid in other EU countries. We cannot do anything about it. We have to follow these rules. Even if we accepted you the study department would not enroll you because they would want to follow the rules. I am truly sorry. I find it very unfortunate that young people are sanctioned in this way for the policies of governments."

This is not an isolated incident. Similar discriminatory acts occurred in recent months in Japan and the Netherlands. I-CAN condemns all overzealous and discriminatory interpretations of sanctions taken against the people of Iran. IAAB contacted the U.S. Department of Treasury seeking clarification and reassurance that similar steps do not take place in universities throughout the United States and is awaiting their response.

IAAB will continue to gather data about the effect of sanctions on students: email to report any other discriminatory incidents.

About Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB) - IAAB is a 501(c)(3) non-partisan, non-profit volunteer organization with a young, dedicated staff spread across the United States, Europe and Iran.  The mission of the organization is to address issues of the Iranian diaspora community while raising awareness of the Iranian community, promoting leadership, and connecting Iranians across borders. For more information about IAAB, please visit

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