The rising number of Iranian exchange students presents an opportunity to revitalize U.S. public diplomacy outreach to Iran. This infographic highlights key findings of a new Washington Institute report.
The number of Iranians attending U.S. colleges is on the rise, as bright, motivated students overcome significant obstacles in order to fulfill their professional goals and escape repression in Iran. Both politically and economically, America's international student body helps advance key interests, and Iranians are unlike any other group in terms of their academic talent or level of priority for outreach for public diplomacy and national security.
Red Tape, Iron Nerve: The Iranian Quest for U.S. Education, a Washington Institute Policy Focus by analyst Steven Ditto, explores the notable characteristics of America's Iranian exchange students and assesses the financial, logistical, and consular challenges in their path. Drawing on extensive historical research as well as personal interviews and surveys of Iranian students, Ditto concludes that lowering certain barriers, reaffirming America's commitment to human rights, and fulfilling past pledges to these students can help Washington revitalize its public diplomacy efforts and pave the way for short- and long-term change in Iran.
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