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Days after announcing it would ban Iranian international students from certain graduate degree courses, the University of Massachusetts Amherst has reversed its policy, saying it will accept them into science and engineering programs.

The University of Massachusetts Amherst has banned Iranian international students from enrolling in certain graduate programs, including engineering and natural sciences. UMass says its policy is dictated by U.S. sanctions against Iran, citing a federal law - the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012. Still, some academics argue the policy goes too far and the university may be discriminating against Iranians.

Despite ongoing tense relations between Iran and the United States, the Obama administration is encouraging a unique partnership between the two countries. A new policy is meant to promote educational exchanges and, for the first time, will allow Iranian students to access U.S. courses online. 

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