Iran


07 October 2014
NY Times
Iran President Calls for Greater Academic Freedom

President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday called for more academic freedom in Iran's universities, saying restrictions stifle innovation and breed sycophancy. "Irrelevant restrictions will lead to lack of tolerance, the departure of honest, competent individuals and the promotion of ingratiating people," Rouhani said at an event marking the start of the academic year at Tehran University.

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02 June 2014
Amnesty International
Persecution in universities as Iran 'squeezes the life out of' academic freedom by Amnesty International

Amnesty International claims that the policies enforced by the Iranian government regarding higher education have not changed the situation for better since the new President Hassan Rouhani seized power. These, as they state, are highly oppressive on women and religious minorities such as the Baha'is, and many peaceful protesters are still imprisoned and torutured unrightfully, although the government denies such course of action. AI claims that the Islamisation of university management is having and will have pernicious consequences for Iran's higher education. 

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03 March 2014
Al-Monitor
Tehran University chancellor dismissed, leaving dark legacy by A Correspondent in Tehran

After six years as Tehran University chancellor, the Farhad Rahbar, 54, was ordered last week to step down from his position by President Hassan Rouhani’s minister of science. Iranians online celebrated and students at Tehran University even laid out sweets underneath a sign that read “Farhad Rahbar is gone.” The crackdown on the 2009 protests, the forced retirement of critical professors and Tehran University’s unique role in protest movements made Rahbar one of the more controversial officials in recent years. 

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27 February 2014
University World News
The student tortured for defying the censors by Brendan O'Malley

Foad Sojoodi Farimani knew he had to make a split-second decision. He had set out on foot from the campus of Amirkabir University of Technology in Tehran, where he was studying for a PhD in biomechanical engineering and working as a research assistant on medical robotics, and he needed to collect a prototype from another research centre. Then he heard a man call out his name.

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24 February 2014
Al-Monitor
Press freedom in Iran improves slightly under Rouhani by A Correspondent in Iran

In the 2014 Reporters Without Borders’ World Press Freedom Index, Iran ranked one place higher compared to 2013. Apparently, this change comes not as a result of any actual improvements but because one country was added to the list since last year. On the whole, 180 countries were assessed. 

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20 February 2014
Al-Monitor
The paradox of higher education in Iran by Muhammad Jawad Adib

Since the early years of the Islamic revolution, there has been an attempt to expand and propagate higher education in Iran. In 1982, then-speaker of the parliament Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani had unveiled plans for establishing a new university called Azad (Free) University with branches in all parts of the county, including villages.

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14 February 2014
Al-Monitor
Iran's forgotten prisoners by Mansour Osanlou

Just this month, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif admitted to the country’s human rights “problems and shortcomings,” restating that his new boss, President Hassan Rouhani, has promised to address them. Concrete changes have yet to take place, in part because as Zarif stated, it is a process of “consensus-building, not an immediate issue” and “not everything is in the hands of the executive branch.” The widespread arbitrary arrest and detention of citizens for exercising rights protected under international law and systemic torture have made it an immediate issue for many of us, however. As some 900 prisoners of conscience and political prisoners remain holed up in deplorable, inhumane conditions in Iran, every day matters. I know this feeling of urgency. I was one of those prisoners.

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10 February 2014
Al Jazeera
Iranian poet executed for 'waging war on God'

An Arab-Iranian poet and human rights activist, Hashem Shaabani, has been executed for being an "enemy of God" and threatening national security, according to local human rights groups.

Shaabani and a man named Hadi Rashedi were hanged in unidentified prison on January 27, rights groups have said.

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07 February 2014
Al-Monitor
Iranian activist lauds rise of 'citizen journalism' in Iran by Behdad Bordbar

Isa Saharkhiz is a prominent Iranian journalist and one of the founders of the Press Freedom Defense Association in Iran. At the beginning of the presidency of Reformist Mohammad Khatami in 1997, he was in charge of domestic publications within the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, an era which Iranian media experienced unprecedented press freedoms and growth. However, in 1999 there was a backlash by conservatives that resulted in the banning of many newspapers. Saharkhiz eventually resigned as a result of the crackdown.

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04 February 2014
Trend
Iran's president: country's universities should prepare students for political thinking by Umid Niayesh and Saeed Isayev

Iran's universities should prepare their students for political thinking, the country's president Hassan Rouhani said, Iranian state IRINN TV reported on Feb. 4.

Rouhani made the remarks while addressing heads of Iranian universities in Tehran.

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27 January 2014
The Daily Star, Lebanon
Iran journalists urge Rouhani to reopen press association

Hundreds of Iranian journalists have signed a petition urging President Hassan Rouhani to speed up the reopening of their press association, the reformist Etemad newspaper reported on Monday.

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22 January 2014
Voice of America
Column: Iran Nuclear Deal Opens Doors for Students

Among the beneficiaries of the interim nuclear agreement with Iran that went into effect this week areIranian students abroad and the Western educational institutions that are already seeing rising interest from Iran.

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12 January 2014
Al Monitor
Can Rouhani reverse Irans brain drain? by Bijan Khajehpour

On Jan. 7, Iran’s Minister of Science, Research and Technology Reza Faraji Dana said, “Every year, about 150,000 highly talented people emigrate from Iran, equaling an annual loss of $150 billion to the economy.” Though the monetary value may be inaccurate (the World Bank put the economic cost of Iran’s brain drain at $50 billion in 2010), the fact is that Iran has experienced one of the highest levels of brain drain over the past decades.

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23 December 2013
Al Monitor
Iran increases role of clerics in public schools by Ali Mamouri

Social activists are worried about a new policy that will station clergy in an expanding circle of public schools in Iran.

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