UN Sanctions Force Halt to English Tests for Iranian Students

Sanctions Could Inadvertently Keep Iranian Students From Studying Overseas

The Educational Testing Service, the world’s largest non-profit educational testing organization, has announced that it is being forced to cancel all language proficiency tests inside Iran, including the popular Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) test used for most would-be transfer students studying in the West.

The Princeton, NJ-based company says that the tests cannot continue to be given in Iran because of the recent United Nations Security Council sanctions against Iranian financial institutions, which prevent the company from conducting business there.

The company says on its website that it hopes to make other arrangements to circumvent the sanctions, but a long delay could make it all but impossible for Iranian students to study abroad. It also does serious harm to the Western claims that the UN Sanctions were only harming the Iranian government and not average citizens.

It could also inadvertently turn future generations of Iranians off to ties with the West, as fewer and fewer members of the country’s educated classes will have lived and studied abroad in English-speaking nations.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.