The University of Massachusetts Amherst says it’s complying with a 2012 US sanctions law to no longer admit students from Iran to study engineering at the university. They interpret the sanctions law as a way to avoid preparing “the alien for a career in the energy sector of Iran or in nuclear science or nuclear engineering or a related field in Iran.” Some say the law does not prohibit qualified Iranian nationals from coming to the US to study science and engineering. “Each application is reviewed on a case-by-case basis.”
In 2013-14, 10,194 Iranian students studied in the US–the highest number in the last 26 years, since the 1979 Iranian revolution that deposed the Shah. At UMass Amherst, about 28,000 students are enrolled, of whom approximately 1,600 are from other countries.