Rahni reporting form
The American Chemical Society (ACS) has once again
pioneered, under its "zealot" interpretation of "embargo" by Department of
Treasury's Office of Foreign Asset Control, by terminating membership of its
long-time members in
But later, under pressure from the American scientific community, particularly its broad membership, the ACS retreated from such a decision while agreeing to take it up with the federal government. Paradoxically, this is against the current administrative policy of prompting people-to-people contact as enunciated by The Assistant Secretary of State Nicholas Burns at the March 29 hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Yudhijit Bhattacharjee , in
SCIENCE, has reported that the ACS Assistant General Counsel, David
Smorodin when "re-reading the embargo rules, has made the recommendation of
terminating Iranian membership to the ACS management (SCIENCE Magazine, Vol.
315, 30 March 2007). Notwithstanding the individual membership continuation, the
ACS has, however, stated that while Iranian chemists and institutions can
continue to purchase journals and other “non-sensitive” products at
the exorbitantly high full-rate, the ACS will apply for special license
from the Treasury Department to reinstate the membership for Iranian chemists.
Paradoxically, and as in the past, the American Physical Society in
contrast states, "We have NO plan to do anything similar, and continue to serve
our members in
When interviewed by internationally acclaimed Science Magazine, the official publication of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), David Rahni an Iranian-American chemistry professor in New York stated, "I, like most ACS members and peers in the scientific community, strongly question the ACS move on this issue, and expect its leadership to refrain from allowing politics to taint the stellar stature that the Organization has achieved." Politically speaking though, the consensus among the nearly one million Americans of Iranian heritage is to reaffirm their commitment for the attainment of justice, security, stability, equity, transparency and human rights in Iran through "home-grown", indigenous and democratic reforms, but not at the expense of isolating the people, albeit the scientific community in their motherland from their peers worldwide. They further deplore any possible unilateral military actions against Iran, as they firmly believe this is counter-productive in the organic, slow but steady evolution of Iran through education, cultural reforms and communications with the rest of the world; they further consider military actions and/or isolations counter-productive to the credibility of their American homeland abroad thereby leading to the priceless loss of human and materiel capitals.
Despite the tremendous
burden imposed on the very bright Iranian students and scholars when they
struggle to obtain
Isn't it ironic that when ACS claims to be a "congressionally chartered" international professional society, 130 years old, with a membership of 160,000, 10% of whom, that is 20,000 are from overseas, and an additional 20%, that is 30,000 members who are naturalized Americans or permanent residents, that it must force the nationals of one country, Iran, out and deprive them from maintaining scientific communications with their peers worldwide and will not let them contribute toward the advancement in their chosen field?
Notwithstanding the rhetoric and provocations leading to possible disastrous confrontations by governments, a true scientist, and an organization of scientists, ACS, which does not recognize the boundaries of the world, should easily transcends all political barriers.
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are personal in scope, and do not necessarily reflect the institution (s) to which I belong
... Payvand News - 4/5/07 ... --