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International Scholarship the Latest Victim of President Trump’s Executive Order

Press Communiqué
Association for the Study of Persianate Societies

In a measure-for-measure response to President Trump’s executive order of Friday, January 27, 2017, the Government of Iran announced on Saturday, January 28, that it would no longer issue any visas to American citizens for an initial period of 90 days and beyond it as long as the US ban remains in effect. On Sunday, January 29, representatives of the Association for the Study of Persianate Societies (ASPS) met with officials at the Iran Ministry of Foreign Affairs to provide documentation required for entry visas for forty-five scholars holding U.S. passports to attend ASPS’s Eighth Biennial Convention in Shiraz, March 9-13, 2017, which the Foreign Ministry had previously agreed to grant. In accordance with instructions issued a day earlier, the Foreign Ministry refused to consider the visa applications. As the American scholars constituted the bulk of non-Iranian attendees at the Convention, we were forced to cancel it at this late stage and after many participants had already made travel arrangements.

The ASPS is an international scholarly association devoted to the interdisciplinary study of the Persianate world from the Caucasus to India and Central Asia, and publishes the Journal of Persianate Studies. It is registered in the State of New York and has a license from the Office of the Foreign Assets Control of the US Department of Treasury (License N. IA-2016-332302-1) for its operations and cultural activities in Iran. Some 150 scholars from 22 countries other than Iran and the United States— that is, Japan, Australia, China, India, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Armenia, Georgia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Russia, Bosnia, Hungary, Italy, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany and the United Kingdom—are adversely affected and greatly inconvenienced by this late cancellation. We deeply regret this ill-conceived and abruptly- and inhumanely-executed measure by the Trump Administration, and consider it a flagrant violation of due process of law. We further hold the Administration fully responsible for the great damage the presidential executive order has caused to the international dissemination of higher learning and global culture and the harm it has inflicted upon the international scholarly community.

Saïd Amir Arjomand, President
Association for the Study of Persianate Societies