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Iran Lawmaker Sends 98 Cases Of 'Illegal Scholarships' To Judiciary

Mahmoud Sadeghi, Tehran's outspoken representative to parliament. File photo

An outspoken member of Iran’s parliament says the list of 98 children of the country’s elite who received “illegal scholarships” was sent to judicial officials.

Mahmoud Sadeghi told parliament’s news website that he collected the names of 98 children of influential politicians and officials who received scholarships through “corrupt” methods to study abroad.

The issue of scholarships to study abroad meant for bright students but abused by the politicians has been simmering in Iran for at least two years. Some politicians and media have mentioned hundreds of cases of granting scholarship illegally.

The scandal goes back to the presidency of hardliner president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (2005-2013), when it is alleged many top officials secured scholarships for their children or relatives.

One prominent example previously mentioned by local media was the daughter of Ahmadinejad’s minister of education Kamran Daneshjoo. His daughter Sara received a scholarship to continue her post-graduate studies in the final days of Ahmadinejad’s presidency.

Names of more than 20 members of parliament have also been mentioned by local media. One of these was the chairman of parliament’s education commission, whose children received scholarships.

Iran’s middle class has been under tremendous economic pressure for the past decade, symbolized by a devalued currency and cannot afford to send students to study abroad.