‘Iran’s scientists uncrushed by decades of sanctions’

July 20, 2018

U.S. President Donald Trump’s unilateral withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear agreement (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, JCPOA) in May would not affect Iran’s scientific progress, vice-dean for research in the Faculty of Medicine at Tehran University of Medical Sciences has said.

Shahin Akhondzadeh made the remarks in a correspondence he sent to Nature, international journal of science, published on July 18.  

Trump’s withdrawal from JCPOA attracted international condemnation, Akhondzadeh wrote. “As vice-dean for research in the Faculty of Medicine at Tehran University of Medical Sciences, I stand behind Iran’s scientists, who have resolved to work even harder to maintain the country’s scientific progress,” he stated.

“After the imposed war in 1980–88 and decades of Western sanctions, Iran has made remarkable advances in research, ranking 17th in the world in 2012. The JCPOA did not have much impact on scientific productivity, in part because many U.S. sanctions remained in place. These continued to affect the purchase of books, journals, lab equipment and materials; the payment of publication charges; membership of scientific bodies; and travel to conferences and meetings. Furthermore, the U.S. treasury department clamped down on publication in U.S. journals of papers from Iranian government scientists.

“In the face of Trump’s withdrawal from the JCPOA, I hope that the international scientific community will support Iran’s efforts to contribute further to international science,” he concluded. 

MQ/MQ

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