Iran’s Ministry of Science has finally put a halt to the rapid trend of forcing university professors into early retirement, announcing that pending retirements have been postponed for five years.

Khabar-on-line reports that the ministry announcement comes after widespread criticism of the Ahmadinejad administration’s policy of removing numerous top university lecturers who were deemed to be unaligned with the government.

Following the 2009 elections protests, universities became a main target of persecution and purges, especially since Iran’s Supreme Leader identified higher education institutions as a hotbed of growing dissent.

In the past eight years of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s presidency, according to Khabar-on-line report, more than 40 professors have been forced into early retirement or dismissed.