The tension between the United States and Iran is nothing new. In 2002, the president at the time, George H.W. Bush, famously referred to Iran as part of the “Axis Of Evil”, a term used to describe a group of foreign governments that seek weapons of mass destruction and sponsor terrorism.
President Donald Trump
However, thanks to the sanctions that Trump recently imposed in November, there is a new unintended victim involved thanks to the disagreements between the two countries: students.
Tuition In Cash?
Thanks to the ban on money transfers, Iranian students are now struggling to pay their tuition fees. In one particular example, 23 year-old law student Parsa Sadat actually has the money to pay for the tuition, but is essentially being told to fly back to Iran and retrieve the money in cash, which is both costly and obviously inconvenient.
University of Reading, UK
An associate professor at University of Reading, in the U.K., where Sadat studies, commented on the situation, stating: “Even if the funds for the flight and fees can be raised, requiring Parsa to transport large amounts of cash within and from a country classified by the Foreign Office as a high-risk country, exposes the university to justifiable criticism,” said Mai Sato, an Associate Professor at Reading. “Parsa himself feels that carrying several thousand pounds in cash is dangerous.”
It’s easy to see how cryptocurrency and its decentralized nature can come into play here, since it is not subject to a specific authority or government.
Maziar Bahari, the editor of a website called IranWire.com, pointed out that many students were turning to cryptocurrency, which can easily be transferred across borders quickly and efficiently. He stated, “They are using Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in order to get money.”
The University of Reading seemed to understand the inconvenience of the situation, and offered this statement: “We recognise that this student is facing exceptional circumstances and are monitoring the situation. We are working with him to try to resolve this issue.”
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