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National and international attention to OFAC ruling on publishing

Source: Sharif University of Technology Association (SUTA)


Concerns of the US publishers to apply for licenses from Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to edit the papers from embargoed countries, and the decision of the American Chemical Society (ACS) to ignore OFAC's ruling on publishing, attracted the attention of national and International media to this ruling.


  • Channel 4-ITN TV of London contacted us for information and interview. They are sending their science reporter to US for preparing a report.
  • British Medical Journal informed us that they are planning to cover the OFAC ban on editing articles from Iran and other countries. They asked for contact and information.
  • Charles Jones, Director of Center for Latin American Studies at the Cambridge University, is asking his colleagues to come up with the best way to express their opposition to this ruling. They have written their concerns also to the British Representative on the NATO Scientific Committee.
  • Science Journal is publishing a short report this week, and a detailed article later.
  • Los Angeles Time is preparing a report and contacted us as well for information.
  • The Scientist Magazine has contacted us for information and is publishing on Monday a detailed article in opposition to this ruling.
  • ASHRAE Engineering Organization published this report:

Editing Some Scientific Articles Is a Crime

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Publishers and editors of U.S. academic and scientific journals can be jailed or fined if they edit manuscripts submitted from Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Libya or Cuba. According to the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control, editing manuscripts from these countries violates U.S. trade embargoes. The Treasury Department says that it is legal to publish submissions from the prohibited countries. However, editing is considered a service; therefore, editing submissions is not allowed under the Treasury's mandate. The publications division of the American Chemical Society has already deliberately violated the policy.

  • The Nature, the New Jersey Star Ledger, and the Chronicle of Higher Education reported immediately about ACS decision on February 19, and strongly opposed the ruling of OFAC. They referred to SUTA as well.

  • Several university sites have also posted these articles. We encourage our members to ask the webmasters of their university sites to do the same.

          You can read many of these articles by accessing SUTA's website:


... Payvand News - 3/1/04 ... --

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