Ban on Iranian students is discriminatory, says supreme court

Dutch universities and hbo colleges can no longer refuse admittance to Iranian nationals who might come into contact with nuclear expertise, the supreme court ruled on Friday.


Educational institutes may not discriminate against students and academics on the grounds of nationality, the court said. Iranian students have been excluded from courses involving nuclear technology because of fears this would break UN sanctions against Iran.
However, UN sanctions can be kept without differentiating between Iranian and non-Iranian nationals, the court said in a statement. Although the Dutch state has said this is impossible, other countries have managed to achieve this and the Dutch argument is ‘unconvincing’, the court said.
Three dual-national Dutch Iranians – an undergraduate, a graduate student and a professor – went to court to have the ban ruled illegal. Lower courts had also found in their favour.
Iranian nationals have been banned from certain courses since 2008.
Twente University went even further for a time by closing its doors to all students from Iran, arguing it is impossible to keep them away from open lectures.
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