Scientific Articles from Countries Under US Sanctions

Lee Hadden writes “In an article in Physics Today, May 2004, pages 28-29, Toni Feder
writes “US Government Backs Off From Imposing Restrictions on Publishers.”

In permitting one scholarly publisher’s activities, the Treasury Department
seems to have muddied the dispute over freedom of the press and, in
addition, has warned against collaborations between US scientists and their
colleagues in sanctioned countries.

The federal government has eased restrictions on editing manuscripts from
countries under US trade embargoes, but some publishers remain wary that
the narrowness of the 2 April ruling leaves them vulnerable to improper
regulation and prosecution.

In a ruling last fall, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets
Control (OFAC) listed “reordering of paragraphs or sentences, correction of
syntax, grammar, and replacement of inappropriate words” in manuscripts
from Iran as activities that may “constitute the provision of prohibited
services.” In theory, such routine activities could have been punishable by
fines and jail time.

The latest ruling “makes clear that scientific communities in sanctioned
countries may publish their works in U.S. scholarly journals,” OFAC
Director Richard Newcomb said in a media statement.

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