Iranian University Students in the UK Turn to Bitcoin to Pay Tuition after Sanctions

Following sanctions placed on Iran, citizens studying in the United Kingdom have turned to Bitcoin as a tool for paying their tuition fees.

Parsa Sadat, a law student at the University of Reading, is just one of many Iranian students who can’t pay their tuition fees and are completely stranded at school after Iran was hit with sanctions by U.S. President Donald Trump last month.

The international students from Iran risks having their students Visa’s revoked due yo their inability to pay their tuition. More so, while their families are willing to pay for their tuition, they are however unable to get the required funds as the U.S.-imposed sanctions have disrupted cash transfers out of Iran.

The students have faced several warning from the management of their respective institutions, warning them to pay up or risk being dismissed from school.

However, Sedat’s who is in his final year has been wanred by his university to make the funds available when returning from the Yuletide break in cash. One of his lecturers, Professor Mai Sato, was of the opinion that it was dangerous for him to transport such large sums from Iran to the United Kingdom, urging the university to speak up against the injustice that was being meted out to the students.

“Even if the funds for the flight and fees can be raised, requiring Parsa to transport large amounts of cash within and from a country classified by the Foreign Office as a high-risk country, exposes the university to justifiable criticism. Parsa himself feels that carrying several thousand pounds in cash is dangerous.”

It would be recalled that in May. 2019 the United States government announced it was considering pulling out of the 2015 U.S.-Iran nuclear deal to re-impose the sanctions that the agreement was established to help lift. The sanctions were eventually enforced, with the country’s commercial banks removed from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) network. As a result of this exclusion, the Iranian Central Bank has been cut off from the rest of the world and is unable to conduct business with financial institutions the world over.

While they wait for a lasting solution to their predicaments, some students have found a temporary solution to get funds out of Iran. Maziar Bahari, an editor of local news outlet, informed The Guardian that hundreds of students are affected by the banking restrictions but some of them are now using “bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in order to get money” from their family back in Iran. In response to these sanctions, the country seems to have turned to cryptocurrencies, making use of its unregulated and decentralized nature to ensure that financial activities and transactions, particularly for businesses, go on as normal.

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