By: Mir M.Hosseini
A flow of U.S. educators from Harvard to the University of Southern California headed for Iran to offer training and advice in everything from the latest audio-visual techniques to the peaceful uses of atomic energy, a need which Iran was willing to pay dearly for it.
In March, 1975, Georgetown University signed an $11.5 million, five-year agreement to help Ferdowsi University of Mashhad create schools of engineering, agriculture and economics.
• Iran had recently signed similar contracts with U.S. colleges such as:
• Wentworth Institute in Boston to set up a vocational school in Shiraz
• M.I.T. to train up to 54 Iranian graduate students in nuclear engineering.
• George Washington University to develop graduate programs in management.
• U.S.C. for an endowed chair in petroleum engineering.
• Stanford to plan satellite-based rural telephone and educational television systems.
• Harvard to plan a graduate-level research university.
• Princeton for the Pahlavi endowment for Iranian Studies.
There were also agreements with universities of Columbia, Cornell, Michigan, Chicago, West Virginia and Maryland.
Although there were voices of concern around the US for supporting such an oppressive, totalitarian regime, Petro-dollars forced them to consider assisting developing nations to improve their educational capacities in the interest of their people!
But in 1979, diplomatic relations between Iran and US were severed and Iranian assets were frozen in the US, therefore contracts were not honored. Especially after Iran cut her ties with Israel calling it the Zionist Regime, AIPAC; the most powerful lobby in the US used its entire means to avoid normalization of US-Iran relations. Moreover, imposed sanctions and embargos ever since has created a profitable business for official smugglers on both sides.