The U.S. State Department says it is concerned by the continued repression of academic freedom in Iran.
A U.S. spokesman says that in recent months, dozens of Iranian students have been detained, professors have been replaced, and freedom of expression has been severely curtailed on university campuses in Iran.
A statement released Friday says the families of the detained men and women have not been allowed to communicate with their loved ones. It calls on the Iranian government to release the detainees and to guarantee fundamental freedoms for all citizens.
The State Department says the abuses have taken place since September, when Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in a speech in New York that universities should be places where the freedoms of expression and conscience flourish.