January 30, 2017
The Association for Iranian Studies (former International Society for Iranian Studies), expresses its deep concern regarding President Trump’s executive order imposing draconian restrictions on the entry to the United States of nationals from seven countries, including Iran. This executive order sends a chilling message to Iranians, Iranian-Americans, and to all academics engaged in the study of Iran. It hinders the academic activities of the AIS. The feasibility of holding our 2018 international conference at Irvine, California, has to be reviewed in the light of the current situation.
As an international academic organization devoted to the study of Iranian history, culture, politics, economics, and society, the Association for Iranian Studies (A.I.S.) is committed to the free exchange of ideas, the principle of academic freedom, and open dialogue relating to teaching, learning, and research in the field of Iranian Studies. Since its founding in 1967 the Association has steadfastly defended these principles and made significant contributions towards the humanistic understanding of Iranian civilization.
This executive order challenges those principles, and undermines the ability of students and scholars in our field to travel freely to Iran to attend academic conferences or to carry out their own research. Since the declaration of the executive order, confirmed reports have identified Iranian and Iranian-American students, academics, and others (including those holding student visas, green cards, and dual nationals) who have been detained, harassed, and prevented from returning to the United States after trips to Iran for personal or research reasons. Such incidents can only tarnish the reputation of the United States as a most hospitable haven for dispassionate and pioneering scholarship.
Dr. Touraj Daryaee
President of the Association for Iranian Studies