You might suspect this would be the work of Uncle Sam. I’d even be less surprised if it was my own Australian government, or the UK. But no it’s the Netherlands who are promoting racist barriers to education.
The Dutch are more well known for liberal approaches to marijuana and sex, but like quite a few central European countries, there are growing conservative elements preying on fears regarding Arab and Muslim immigration and influence.
This is very sad. Nothing really vindicates the harshness of this ruling.
It just shows gross ignorance and lack of respect on behalf of the Dutch government. Broad sweeping bans against all citizens of Iran from studying nuclear physics and rocket ballistics – including persons with Dutch dual citizenship is just unfair.
I doubt Iran is not above employing Saudi, Afghani, Indonesian, or any other nationality, to aid in any nuclear programs. Nor does it appear to prevent someone abandoning Iranian citizenship to pursue training.
Why just Iran? Why not North Koreans, Pakistanis, or other potential breakers of the nuclear proliferation treaty.
Indeed, if this technology is deemed so dangerous in the hands (or minds) of the wrong people, why even have public education programs in it at all?
Other countries have appropriate screening for foreign nationals wishing to study such technology.
And as the Nature article highlights, many international students are against the oppressive regimes in their mother countries. That is part of why they are studying abroad.