When Mohammad Hamedi Rad arrived in the United States last year, he carried his Iranian passport, a hard-won student visa and a backpack containing $14,000 in hundred dollar bills, because there was no simpler way of getting money into the country. "It was scary," Hamedi Rad, a chemical engineering graduate student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, said of his late-night arrival in Chicago, where he declared the funds to airport customs officials. I was extremely nervous." Hamedi Rad's experience is by no means unheard of among many of the thousands of high-achieving, mostly middle-class young Iranians who are coming to the United States to study in increasing numbers despite U.S. and international sanctions on their homeland. After gaining admission, they must navigate a way around sanctions on Iranian banks that make direct legal wire transfers to the West a practical impossibility, impeding the students' ability to pay tuition or transfer money for living expenses.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Fresh from shackling the traditional blocking ability of the Senate's minority party, Democrats are ready to muscle through President Barack Obama's nominees for pivotal judgeships and other top jobs.