As new provisions related to EU sanctions against Iran come into effect this weekend (July 1st), Iranian students and professionals living in the Netherlands are feeling the effects as the government has opted to deny the issuing or renewal of both student and work visas. Despite the fall of the Dutch cabinet several months ago, as the country waits til the end of the summer to hold elections, the current caretaker foreign minister Uri Rosenthal is going ahead with what he says are policies in line with sanctions that originally aimed at “prohibiting the import, purchase and transport of Iranian crude oil and petroleum products as well as related finance and insurance.”
What does a very strict banning of oil related business have to do with thousands of Iranians who’s lives are based in the Netherlands? – That part isn’t clear. According to the government, the policy is connected to keeping certain “knowledge” from being transferred back to Iran. When it was announced last week the minister stated that the Netherlands will no longer renew or issue visa or residency applications for Iranian researchers and specialist immigrants. He also added that this would not effect student or tourist visas that would function as they had before. However according to a growing list of reports from local media within the Netherlands, students and working individuals that have nothing to do with oil or nuclear technology are also seeing their visas get turned down.
What does the EU say about all this? Not much. This latest round of sanctions was originally announced at the beginning of the year. One year ago at this time, three members of the Iranian revolutionary guard -who originally inspired these new sanctions- were found to be sharing knowledge and equipment from within the EU to help support the Syrian government with its physical oppression of opposition forces. For its part Iran protests both the sanctions and the actions of the Dutch government towards its nationals, but such protests never yield much else than a few lines in the international press.
Source: Radio Zameneh