Sep 21, 2019

U.S. revokes Iranian student visas as tensions increase

Photo: Kayana Szymczak / Stringer/Getty Images

Several Iranian students were barred from their flights to the United States, after their visas were abruptly rescinded earlier this month, just days before beginning graduate programs in the U.S. for engineering and computer science, reports the New York Times.

Why it matters: The 12 or so visa cancellations come as tensions continue to mount between Iran and the U.S. However, this occurred before the recent oil facility attacks in Saudi Arabia, which Iran has been held responsible for, per the Times.

  • The State Department claims there have been no sudden policy shifts to student visas. However, the federal government can make such cancellations at any time thanks to a 2012 law enacted by President Obama that requires the U.S. to deny student visas specifically for Iranians who could use their educations to work in the Iranian energy or nuclear sectors.

The big picture: Trump's travel ban has made it so most Iranians can't even travel to the U.S., according to the Times.

  • Chinese students have also experienced visa-related issues, as President Trump's trade war continues to strain international relations, writes the Times.
    • 9 Chinese undergraduate students were detained en route to Arizona State University at the Los Angeles Airport last month, before being sent back to China without explanation, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Go deeper

U.S. universities lose students from China

Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

"After a decade of booming enrollment by students from China, American universities are starting to see steep declines as political tensions between the two countries cut into a major source of tuition revenue," AP reports.

Why it's happening: The U.S trade war with China and concerns about national security risks "appear to be accelerating a trend that's also driven by growing international competition, visa complications and the development of China's own higher education system," writes AP.

Go deeperArrowSep 24, 2019

Iran says it will release seized British oil tanker

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard detaining the Stena Impero in July. Photo: Hasan Shirvani/Mizan News Agency/AFP/Getty Images

Iran's government announced Monday that it would release the British-flagged oil tanker Stena Impero, which it seized in July, reports the New York Times.

Why it matters: The decision ends a 2-month standoff between Tehran and London over detained vessels and maritime law, but Iran still faces increased tensions with its Persian Gulf neighbors and the U.S. and its allies — including the U.K.

Go deeperArrowSep 23, 2019

Pompeo doubles down on claim of Iranian "act of war" in Saudi Arabia

Pompeo this week at the UN. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared today that he had been right to label attacks on Saudi oil facilities an “act of war” by Iran, but said Iran would fail to “goad us into conflict.”

The big picture: The U.K., France and Germany accused Iran yesterday of responsibility for the Sept. 14 attacks. Iran has denied responsibility for the attacks in Saudi Arabia, accused the U.S. of “deception" and warned of "all-out war" if attacked.

Go deeperArrowSep 25, 2019