Software company ConsenSys barred dozens of Iranian students from its online programming course. The company explains its decision by existing US sanctions against Tehran.
On November 13, dozens of Iranian students received email suspension notices from ConsenSys Academy, an educational platform launched by Brooklyn-based ConsenSys.
“We are saddened to have to tell you that, effective immediately, we are suspending your enrollment in ConsenSys Academy and your access to the platform,” reads the email, which two students separately shared with CoinDesk. “A recent review of our records shows that you indicated that you are located in a country that we are prohibited from providing goods or services to under US law.”
Many students of Ethereum Coding Class had already completed their coursework by the time they received the notification. Now they will not receive certificates of completion that should have been issued on December 1st.
The suspension came as a surprise to Iranian students. Earlier, ConsenSys itself offered Iranians to take the course for free, although it usually costs $985. In addition, the company openly declared to provide scholarships for Iranian women.
Recent college graduate Mohammad Hosein Ahmadzadeh told CoinDesk that the sudden suspension from ConsenSys courses is a lot like bitter déjà vu. Sites such as Coursera and GitHub have previously restricted access for users from Iran.
Two months ago, Ethereum developer Virgil Griffith was found guilty of violating US sanctions against the North Korea due to his participation in an IT conference in Pyongyang.