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.