It seems that the embargo on editing scientific and technical papers from countries on which the US has imposed economic sanctions (Iran, Cuba, Libya and Sudan) has been lifted. According to IEEE, they can now publish papers from the embargoed countries.
IEEE scored a victory for freedom of the press and the scholarly publishing community with the ruling it received Friday from the U.S. Department of Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control. The ruling exempts peer review, editing and publication of scholarly manuscripts submitted to IEEE by authors living in countries that are under U.S. trade embargoes, such as Iran and Cuba. OFAC determined that IEEE’s publications process is “not constrained by OFAC’s regulatory programs.”
The government’s decision confirms the position IEEE has argued for over a year that its entire publishing process falls outside the scope of OFAC’s regulations because of the Berman Amendment to the trade sanctions law that excludes the free exchange of information from OFAC’s economic embargoes.
IEEE had earlier obtained a September 30, 2003 ruling from OFAC that exempted a large part of its editorial process but left uncertain whether it had to publish such papers “as is” or could edit such papers prior to final publication. This latest April 2 ruling clarifies IEEE’s full freedom to engage in scholarly peer review and style and copy editing of papers, all without OFAC regulation or licensing. The earlier September 30 ruling had also been limited to Iran, while the new ruling covers authors in Cuba, Libya and Sudan as well as in Iran.