The official website for the Islamic Republic of Iran says its students will have access to the Quran during their studies, despite a long-standing ban on the books.
The official website of the Islamic republic of Iran, which has a majority Sunni Muslim population, announced Sunday that students in Iran will have the opportunity to read and study the Quran as part of their study abroad program.
The website said the Quran would be available in the Islamic University of Iran and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s military academy in Tehran.
The announcement came just hours after a video released by the Revolutionary Guard, Iran’s military, showing members of the armed forces reading the Quran.
The Revolutionary Guard and Iran’s state-run Press TV said the program will be for students from schools across Iran, including Tehran University, Jamia Masjid and Al-Azhar University.
Iranian schools, which are also the primary target of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) and other extremist groups, have also banned the use of the Koran.
Iran is the only country in the Middle East and North Africa to have a long history of Islamic learning and teaching.
In recent years, Iran has begun promoting more moderate interpretations of Islam in schools.
Teachers and students at the Iranian universities are encouraged to study the Qur’an and other Islamic texts to learn more about the Islamic faith, the official website said.
The Islamic Republic has not yet announced the dates for the first phase of the study abroad programs, which will take place from June 7 to May 29.