Are US science journals not allowed to publish Iranian research?

I received an email from what seems to be a credible source saying that an Iranian working in the field of orthodontics submitted a paper to an American journal. The paper was refused solely on the grounds of the paper’s country of origin, Iran.

This is the email the Iranian orthodontist is claimed to have received (names have been removed by the source of information):

Dear Dr. XXXX

We have received your manuscript in our automated system. Unfortunately, our Federal Government does not allow us to process and edit manuscripts submitted from Iran.

I regret that the world situation results in our inability to communicate science as we would wish. I suggest that you submit your manuscript to a European journal or a journal located in some other country than ours.

Thank you for your interest in The XXXXX.


Editor-in-Chief, The XXXX
Professor Emeritus
University of XXXXX
XXXXXX University

This is definitely worth looking into. Has the US government really issued warnings to scientific journals against publishing research by Iranian scientists? If so, why? When do political sanctions go too far? Is it smart to sanction science and scientific research?


  1. Since I wrote this post, I have received information that some Iranians have indeed succeeded in getting published in US journals. This would indicate that this is not necessarily a generalized US position, rather the position of some particular journals.

    Read this 2009 article from Science: U.S. Scientists, Academics Send Delegations to Iran
    Tours seek ways to enhance scientific, educational links

    I have also received an email from an Iranian scientist who says he got published in a US journal in mid-2009 and that only a few weeks ago another paper was accepted in a second US journal.

  2. Thanks for the interesting post. That really isn’t the right direction science (or science journal publishing) should go. Luckily there are publishers that don’t have that kind of restrictions, one of them is open access publisher, Sciyo,

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