Iran Restricts Study of Humanities

The Iranian government said Wednesday that it will limit the number of students studying the humanities, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports. In a speech to university administrators last year, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, decried the popularity of the human sciences, which in Iran, encompass both the humanities and the social sciences. He said that “instruction in these human sciences in the universities will lead to reservations and doubts in religious principles and beliefs.” The announcement this week follows a period of intensified pressure on universities, during which some 20 university deans have been dismissed, according to the radio news services. A Web site run by the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Iranian National Council of Resistance of Iran, an opposition group based outside of Iran, says the government has denied that the changes in university leadership are due to anything other than normal age-driven retirements: “The real reason behind the increasing number of resignations is that the deans have become increasingly aware of the changes that the regime’s ministry of science seeks to institute in the country’s campuses.”

 

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