Nuclear accord heralds new era of scientific ties in post-sanctions Iran: Science journalist

Prominent science journalist Richard Stone says the agreement between Iran and six global powers over Tehran’s nuclear program heralds a new era of cooperation between Iranian and Western scientists.

He made the comments during a seminar on science journalism and diplomacy, organized by the Iranian Association for the Popularization of Sciences, in the capital Tehran on Wednesday.

Stone noted that the relations between Iranian and Western scientists are growing more rapidly than the diplomatic ties following the conclusion of talks between Tehran and the P5+1 countries.

He added that there is a good prospect for a closer scientific relationship between Iran and the United States in the post-sanctions Iran, and expressed hope that the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and its Iranian peers would help connecting the scientists in the two countries.

Prior to his visit to Iran, Stone had written in article for the Science that the nuclear accord would see scientists from Iran and abroad team up in areas as diverse as fusion, neutrino astronomy, and cancer therapy using radioisotopes.

The agreement also calls for “facilitating” Iran’s participation in the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, or ITER, the world’s largest experimental tokamak nuclear fusion reactor being built adjacent to the Cadarache facility in the south of France, he wrote in the July 14 article.

He also said that Robert Rosner, a theoretical physicist at the University of Chicago in Illinois and former director of Argonne National Laboratory, believes Iranian and US nuclear scientists have much to learn from each other. “Iran has world-caliber scientists and engineers, and they have been in the thick of doing that. I can imagine which way information may flow… When scientists get together, differences always fall away,” Stone quoted Rosner as saying.

Professor Stone is the international news editor of the Science Magazine and largely oversees coverage of stories pertaining to science and science policy in Asia, Russia, and the Middle East. The Science is published by the AAAS, a non-profit organization with the stated goals of promoting cooperation among scientists and supporting scientific education around the globe.

Iran and the P5+1 — the United States, France, Britain, Russia, China plus Germany — managed to finalize the text of the JCPOA in Vienna on July 14. Under the JCPOA, limits are put on Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for a set of commitments by the P5+1, including the removal of all economic and financial bans against the Islamic Republic. According to the pact, nuclear research and development activities on all types of centrifuges, including advanced IR-6 and IR-8 machines, will continue.

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