Science / AAAS | February 3, 2010
Martin Enserink

AMSTERDAM—A court in The Hague has dealt a blow to the Dutch government’s controversial attempts to keep sensitive nuclear technology out of the hands of Iran. Its policy to ban Iranian-born students and scientists from certain master’s degrees and from nuclear research facilities in the Netherlands is overly broad and a violation of an international civil rights treaty, the court ruled today.

“We’re elated. This is a big victory, not just for us, but for science as well,” says Behnam Taebi, a Ph.D. student in philosophy of technology at the Delft University of Technology and one of the plaintiffs in the case. Taebi has both Dutch and Iranian citizenship, as do the two other plaintiffs, nuclear physics professor Nasser Kalantar of the University of Groningen and chemistry student Kawe Bitaraf of Delft. (The court dismissed a fourth party in the case, the Action Group Iranian Students.)

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