difficulties. He is well known at the highest levels of the Iranian scientific community, and over the years political leaders of the country have repeatedly supported his efforts.
The Academies’ presidents cannot sponsor or encourage American scientists to visit Iran unless there are clear assurances that the personal safety of visiting scientists will be guaranteed and that they will be treated with dignity and respect. We have attempted to inform appropriate authorities in Iran and to obtain these assurances. While awaiting clear assurances, the Academies are prepared to continue scientific exchanges with Iranian scientists that can be arranged outside Iran due to the scientific importance of such interactions.
Except for this very serious incident involving the Academies’ staff member, American participants in these exchanges have been treated very well in Iran. Relationships with many Iranian scientists have been developed that can benefit international science and also can help establish an environment for improved relations between the peoples of both countries. It is the hope of the U.S. National Academies that clear assurances will be received soon from Iran that will permit our institution to resume scientific visits to Iran.
December 26, 2008