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Iranian Student Brawls with Canadian Government over Study Permit Denial

Iranian student, Reza Jahantigh, challenges Canadian government's refusal of his study permit due to alleged security concerns, reflecting Ottawa's tightening restrictions on international academics.

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BNN Correspondents
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Iranian Student Brawls with Canadian Government over Study Permit Denial

In a twist of events, an Iranian man, Reza Jahantigh, is embattled with the Canadian government over denial of his study permit. Jahantigh, a prospective PhD candidate in computer engineering at the prestigious École de technologie supérieure in Montreal, finds himself thrust into the limelight, not for his academic prowess but for a security concern that has now become a legal dispute.

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Caught in a Security Web

The Immigration Department flagged Jahantigh as a potential security risk, thereby denying his application. The basis for this concern stems from Jahantigh's past military service in Iran, his work experience, and the nature of his proposed field of study. Despite completing the initial semesters of his doctorate online from Iran, the necessity of his physical presence in Canada for the remainder of his studies has thrust this issue into the forefront.

A Legal Battle Ensues

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Challenging the Immigration Department's decision is Jahantigh's lawyer, Samin Mortazavi. Mortazavi has contested the security concerns, noting that Jahantigh's involvement with the military was mandatory and his employment was at a private firm, not related to the Iranian government. The lawyer insists that Jahantigh's past does not pose a security threat to Canada and aims to seek a judicial review in Federal Court.

Protecting National Interests

The case of Reza Jahantigh is not isolated. It mirrors Canada's broader efforts to safeguard national security and intellectual property against exploitation by potentially hostile nations. A recent similar instance involved the Federal Court upholding the refusal of a study permit to a Chinese man, Yuekang Li, citing potential espionage risks. This cautious approach towards international academics reflects Ottawa's tightening restrictions—an attempt to balance academic collaboration with national integrity.

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