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Watchdog Accuses US Schools Of Ties With Sanctioned Iranian Entities

Wednesday, 04/19/2023

Five American universities are working with Iranian bodies sanctioned by the US and the EU, according to watchdog United Against a Nuclear Iran (UANI).

The nonprofit organization dedicated to monitoring threats from the Islamic Republic wrote to Virginia Tech University, University of Washington, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Clarkson University, and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in December.

UANI claimed employees and students at these institutions worked on technical research with Iranian entities sanctioned by Western governments, reported Washington Examiner on Monday.

UANI reviewed academic journals featuring papers co-authored by students, researchers, or faculty members along with staff from the Iranian Aerospace Research Institute, the Iranian University of Science and Technology, and Sharif University of Technology.

UL Lafayette, Virginia Tech, Worcester Polytechnic, and Clarkson University all told the Washington Examiner their actions were legal and did not sidestep any federal sanctions. However, Clarkson University and the University of Washington said they were investigating the matter.

UANI Research Director Daniel Roth told the Washington Examiner that the appearance of cooperation between the schools and Iranian institutions was a "big red flag."

While Roth acknowledged that working with sanctioned Iranian institutions might be illegal, he also recognized that the universities might have a valid explanation.

The sanctions on Iranian Universities are part of an effort to pressure the Iranian regime to end its nuclear weapons program and other activities that are seen as a threat to global security.

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