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Iran researcher blasts defence college ‘censorship’

A researcher whose report on Iran was removed from the National Defence University’s website is demanding an explanation. Helsingin Sanomat reported on Saturday that his work was taken down after the Iranian ambassador in Helsinki visited the university. The University's research director said he had proposed taking the report off the web even before the ambassador's visit.

Lista maanpuolustuskorkeakoun verkkosivuilla julkaistuista tutkimuksista. Kuvankaappaus on otettu sunnuntaiaamuna 27. lokakuuta.
Alan Salehzadeh's work is no longer visible on the National Defence University's website. Image: Maanpuolustuskorkeakoulu

Alan Salehzadeh says that he was told his work was not online because of a technical fault. Helsingin Sanomat reported on Saturday, however, that the removal occurred after the Iranian ambassador to Finland, Seyed Rasoul Mousavi, had visited the college’s Strategic and Defence Studies department on Friday.

“Why was the research taken down right after Mousavi’s visit?” asked Salehzadeh. “If this is a question of censorship in Finland, that’s a real pity.”

“In my research I wrote about Iran’s nuclear programme and women’s and minorities’ position,” continued Salehzadeh. “Every claim has a source, I didn’t invent anything.”

Torsti Sirén, director of the Strategic and Defence Studies department, told Helsingin Sanomat on Saturday that the report was now being scrutinised to see if it met scholarly standards. He did not believe that any changes would be required.

On Sunday afternoon, the University's research director Hannu Karin denied that the report was removed at the ambassador's request, and said that he had in fact proposed taking the report from the website even before the ambassador's visit.

Helsingin Sanomat story

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