Lawmakers in the Iranian parliament have denounced illegal US sanctions against Al-Mustafa International University, a religious studies institution based in the holy city of Qom.
In a statement issued on Sunday, more than 175 MPs condemned the designation of the university as a target of the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).
The Treasury announced the blacklisting earlier this month, claiming that Al-Mustafa University’s foreign branches were being used as “a recruitment platform” by the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) for intelligence gathering and operations.
The Iranian lawmakers said, “Those fighting against science and the opponents of humankind’s transcendence have once again revealed their true face. This time, they have targeted with their blind sanctions a great institution such as Al-Mustafa University, which is one of the most prestigious international educational institutions concerned with promoting science and spirituality in the world.”
“This measure is undoubtedly a sign of the helplessness and despair of the arrogant US government in the face of the Iranian nation’s scientific and cultural progress,” they added.
“The revolutionary parliament considers the unwise boycott of the scientific center an immoral and illegitimate act contrary to all international standards, strongly condemns it, and declares its firm support for the glorious institution.”
On December 10, the university said the US sanctions against it “only signify antagonism towards science.”
It stressed that its graduates are known across the globe as promoters of rationality and moderation, and its scientific publications are aimed at spreading peace, friendship, and fraternity among nations.
It further held Washington responsible for creating terrorist outfits such as Daesh and providing support for reactionary regional regimes.
The US resumed its economic war against Iran in 2018 under President Donald Trump’s policy of “maximum pressure”. Washington left an international nuclear accord between the Islamic Republic and world powers, and returned the inhumane sanctions that the deal had lifted.
Both Washington’s departure from the agreement and its reinstatement of the sanctions are in outright violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231 that has endorsed the nuclear agreement.