American students who are willing to learn Iran’s native language, Farsi or Persian, are being funded by the US government to study the language at Tajikistan’s universities, a report said.
This fall, the United States is sponsoring seven American undergraduate and graduate students, ranging from aspiring soldiers to diplomats, to study Farsi on a semester abroad, BuzzFeed reported on Saturday.
But they are not going to Iran to learn Farsi. Their destination is Tajikistan.
The report said West Point Military Academy this fall sent its first batch of students to study Persian in Dushanbe with more planning to come in the spring.
Along with the incentive of grants to fund tuition, airfare, and other expenses, students said they worry that going to Iran now might make it harder for them to work with the US government later.
“At some point I’m going to have to get a security clearance, so going to Iran wasn’t still too much of an option,” said Monet Niesluchowski, 20, an undergraduate at Arizona State University.