Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Scientific Advancement and Sanctions

As celebrations for the 33 anniversary of the Islamic Revolution are underway, Obama has proposed a new set of sanctions against Iran for the ninth or tenth time during his term. While Americans are facing serious internal economic crisis and political turmoil, not to mention the occupy wall street movement, they continue to pressure the international community to escalate pressures on Iran on terms of suspicion that Iran may be engaged in activities to enrich uranium to the weapons grade degree. This continues on the basis of a mere suspicion,  at a time when in addition to India and Pakistan in this region, the zionist regime defies international regulations and scrutiny and keeps dozens of nuclear warheads in the occupied territories. The ongoing awakening of the Muslim and Arab world and the occasional threats of military action against Iran are making the region more volatile. Yesterday news of anti war, anti sanctions and anti dictator demonstrations in several cities in the United States was  reassuring, that at least the people in the US are worried that the war mongers, the military and oil cartels, the zionists will have the final say again .
Contrary to claims of the western powers that the sanctions are directed against the Iranian government, it is now clearer than ever that the sanctions are taking their toll against the Iranian people in an unprecedented manner.  There are many examples to mention. I will refer to two personal experiences which were revealing. The first dealt with a proposal to hold an environmental photography competition by an Iranian NGO,  they mentioned that on the famous national geographic society site, Iran was banned from taking part in those competitions. They had proposed that Iranian NGOs should oppose this attitude and announce their own photo competition.
In the academic sphere, while international sources have all highlighted the scientific growth rate of Iran as the highest in the world, very few journals have taken another course. Personally, I have succeeded to publish more than 15  ISI papers since 2009, most of them original research work with our graduate (MSc and PhD) students. My colleagues in the Faculty of Medical Sciences and other Universities have similar achievements.  We have increasing difficulties in obtaining research materials for our laboratories but in dealing with other scientific communities throughout the western world it is clear they understand, sympathize and cooperate with Iranian scientists . This is what should be expected from academic communities who despise war and understand that peace is the prerequisite for development and scientific advancement. Last week a colleague from another medical university informed me that Nanomedicine , a scientific journal devoted to research in the field of nanotechnology and medicine has indicated that it will not publish papers from Iran. Since one of my students has completed her work on the production of a candidate HIV nanovaccine I had chosen this journal for the submission of her manuscript.
In conclusion, considering the heavy propaganda against Iran and the preparations for another war in this region, I hope  people around the globe will awaken to the deviant policies of the American  zionist camp before it is too late.