(Nov. 7, 2018) The Iranian Space Agency (ISA) and the University of Tehran’s Institute for Studies in Public Law signed a memorandum of understanding in late-August 2018 providing for the University to train specialists in space law “to increase Iran’s role in international assemblies and secure national interests.” (Iran Expanding Space Law Studies, EGHTESAD ONLINE (Aug. 27, 2018).) ISA chief Morteza Barari stated that it is imperative for Iran to be adequately represented at international space-law gatherings and make its influence felt, as well as “develop infrastructures in the [space-law] sector.” (Id.)
Specifics of the Agreement
The agreement aims to promote interest among students in majors related to international space law, offering scholarships to those who choose to work in this field, and to stimulate scientific research in the sector. Abbasali Kadkhodaei, head of the University of Tehran’s Institute for Studies in Public Law, believes that Iran’s progress in the field has been impeded by a dearth of specialists who can “uphold the country’s national interests” and by US scientific sanctions blocking Iranian students from studying not only nuclear power but space-related disciplines outside Iran. (Id.)
Other Means to Promote Space-Law Expertise
Beyond the agreement, the ISA has held space-law workshops, whose enthusiastic reception by students and specialists has led the University to take initial steps to establish a major in space law. In addition, the Agency has held moot courts with cases involving space law to prepare students for related court cases in the future.