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Amherst University Reverses Ban On Iranian Graduate Students

Facing a backlash from international students, the U.S. state of Massachusett's flagship university said it is lifting a ban on Iranian nationals in certain graduate programs.

Instead, the university said it is instituting monitoring measures to ensure compliance with U.S. sanctions against Iran.

The university in February moved to block Iranian nationals from some science and engineering programs, citing the sanctions enacted by Congress in 2012.

But a backlash from Iranian students forced the university to reconsider the decision and assemble a study panel whose findings were released this week.

"UMass is committed to non-discriminatory admissions and to educating every student without discrimination," Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy said.

To comply with sanctions without discriminating against Iranians, university officials will individually notify all international students about federal rules that could affect their visas.

Also, before traveling to foreign counties, international students in some fields now must submit brief written statements about their research.

The changes were recommended by the university's Iranian Graduate Students Association.

Based on reporting by AP and Huffington Post