Regulatory intelligence for US exporters

Iran Military Exploiting Partnerships Between Swedish, Iranian Universities, Report Says

Iran’s military is accessing advanced research and technology through the collaboration between Iranian and Swedish universities, according to a report this month from United Against Nuclear Iran, a nonprofit that says it works to “combat the threats” posed by the Iranian government. UANI said it has found eight Swedish universities that have “formed partnerships” with Iranian universities with ties to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, allowing the U.S.-sanctioned IRGC to “procure research and technology for the Iranian regime’s military programs.”

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UANI said the universities are collaborating on issues listed as “main science and technology priorities for defense and security” for the Iranian regime. The nonprofit said these partnerships have been “unknown to Swedish authorities.”

The group pointed to a “strategic agreement” Iran has implemented across all its universities that requires them to “transfer the intellectual property and rights of all research and academic materials to the IRGC and other armed elements of the regime.” Technology and research areas listed in the agreement include unmanned drones, advanced electronics, artificial intelligence and military technology.

“The implication of this strategic agreement is that it confirms that the IRGC has ‘maximum use’ of, and access to, all Swedish University collaborations with Iranian universities,” UANI said. “Thus, any intellectual property that is discussed, shared, or conducted in collaboration with representatives of Iranian universities should be considered forfeited to the IRGC.”

The group said the eight Swedish universities and their Iranian partners are: Malmo University and the Chabahar Maritime University; University of Boras and Babol Noshirvani University of Technology; Lund University’s partnership agreements with Malayer University; Lulea University of Technology and Guilan University; Mid Sweden University and Guilan University; Uppsala University and Golestan University; Linnaeus University and University of Tehran; and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Ilam University.

UANI sent letters to each of the universities asking them to “immediately sever any ties” with the Iranian entities. The group also said it informed the Swedish government and “requested they take action to fully investigate these partnerships.”

Spokespeople for the Swedish universities didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.