Tags: Barack Obama | Iran | War on Terrorism | Iran | students | nuclear engineering | US

Sen. Vitter: Why Are We Letting Iranians Study Nuclear Engineering in US?

By    |   Tuesday, 10 Mar 2015 10:45 PM

Sen. David Vitter is calling for the State Department's inspector general to investigate whether the Obama administration has violated its own economic sanctions on Iran by permitting Iranian students to study subjects such as nuclear engineering in the United States, the Washington Free Beacon reports.

The Louisiana Republican’s letter follows a controversial decision by the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, to continue accepting Iranian students to participate in its engineering programs despite questions about the legality of this practice.

The school had barred Iranian students from these fields, but subsequently reversed itself "under pressure from pro-Tehran activist groups," according to the Free Beacon.

"I am deeply concerned over recent reports that the Department of State is attempting to circumvent existing U.S. law to place universities into the unnecessary position of deciding whether or not to allow students from countries we currently have economic sanctions against — Iran in particular — to pursue specifically restricted material," Vitter writes in a letter to State Department Inspector General Steve Linick.

Vitter criticizes the State Department, writing that it seeks to allow Iranian students to study programs such as nuclear engineering at U.S. universities, "even though our U.S. sanctions on Iran are due to Iran’s threat of developing nuclear weapons."

The Department of State "absolutely should not be putting our educators in a position of deciding what constitutes a danger to the national security of the United States. That is the administration’s job," Vitter's letter states.

UMass Amherst reversed the ban after receiving assurances from the State Department that its admissions policy is in compliance with the law.

But Vitter contends that the Obama administration is intentionally misinterpreting the law so it can loosen restrictions on Iranian students.

"Specifically, the State Department has seemingly changed its interpretation of Section 501 of the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012," the senator writes. "I believe that is not only a security threat; it goes against our current sanctions, and it's unfair to our academic institutions."

In his letter, Vitter writes that the law requires the State Department and Department on Homeland Security (DHS) to decline any student visa to any person "who is a citizen of Iran and is applying to participate in coursework at an institution of higher education to prepare for a career in the energy sector of Iran or in nuclear science or nuclear engineering or a related field in Iran."

"I strongly oppose the actions by the State Department to … reinterpret the law away from its obvious intent," Vitter writes. "To put it frankly, we're still at war with terrorist organizations and we still need strong economic sanctions on Iran until they comply with nuclear nonproliferation agreements and stop their support of terrorism."

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 
1Like our page
2Share
Newsfront
Sen. David Vitter is calling for the State Department's inspector general to investigate whether the Obama administration has violated its own economic sanctions on Iran by permitting Iranian students to study nuclear engineering in the United States.
Iran, students, nuclear engineering, US, Obama administration, State Department, UMass, Sen. David Vitter
455
2015-45-10
Tuesday, 10 Mar 2015 10:45 PM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved