Kazem Kazerounian 0

Letter to President Biden Urging Support For Iranian Students Protesting Dictatorship

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The Honorable Joseph Biden

President of the United States

1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW

Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Biden,

University faculty members across the United States – many of them Iranian professors in the diaspora – have signed this academicians’ open letter seeking your urgent attention to a dire situation in Iranian universities. An attack on the freedom of one university communities is an attack on the freedom of all.

Since September 16th, the outbreak of the most recent uprising in Iran, demonstrations in the streets in more than 170 cities have been violently suppressed by the Iranian regime’s security forces. The repression is becoming harsher every day. At this point, hundreds have been killed and thousands arrested.

University students in Iran, supported by many of their professors, have responded by staging sit-ins on their campuses and commencing strikes, which have now spread to over 100 universities. In response, the regime’s security forces are brutally attacking the students on university campuses, and are killing or arresting the students and faculty members who do not remain silent over the regime’s killings.

According to credible sources, thousands of students have been arrested and their whereabouts are unknown. According to Amnesty International, leaked documents reveal top level orders to armed forces to “mercilessly confront” protesters.

University campuses are sacred grounds for freedom of speech and students have a right to express their dissent without fear of imprisonment and death. However, on October 2, 2022, according to multiple credible reports, repressive forces attacked the Sharif University of Technology, one of the most prestigious academic institutions in the Middle East where many elite students have received their education, firing on the defenseless students, detaining dozens of them and threatening even more violence. This is appalling and totally unacceptable.

Iran has a rich history of student movements who have been at the forefront of the Iranian people’s struggle for freedom and democracy, both under the dictatorship of the Shah and the current totalitarian theocracy. Under both regimes, university students have suffered significant casualties when security forces violently crushed their peaceful protests. We are writing to you to take urgent action to prevent such casualties and loss of life this time.

On October 3, 2022, in a statement on the violent crackdown in Iran, you stated, “We will continue holding Iranian officials accountable and supporting the rights of Iranians to protest freely.” This is commendable, but further tangible actions are needed. We urgently ask that you halt any and all negotiations with the Iranian regime, and prevent any sanctions relief under any pretext, directly or indirectly, until all violators of human rights in Iran are held accountable. We also ask you to recognize the universally accepted right of the Iranian people to self-defense as they seek to attain sovereignty and self-determination.

Respectfully,


As of Nov. 8th, 2022, the growing 2700+ signatories include 10 American Nobel laureates, one Templeton Laureate, 131 members of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, and hundreds of awardees of prestigious medals, including the National Medal of Science, Isaac newton Medal, Pulitzer, and Fields Medal. The signatories include more than 600 Iranian-American professors.

(Note: This open letter and its signatories will be published in public media.)


  • Dr. Carolyn Bertozzi, Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences, Stanford University, The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2022, MacArthur Fellow, Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, American Academy of Arts and Sciences; Lemelson-MIT Prize, the Heinrich Wieland Prize, the ACS Award in Pure Chemistry, and the Chemistry of the Future Solvay Prize;
  • Prof. Randy Schekman, Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology and Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of California, Berkeley and HHMI, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2013, Lasker Award, Gairdner International Award. Member of National Academy of Science, National Academy of Medicine, American Philosophical Society, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Foreign Associate of the Royal Society of London;
  • Prof. Dudley Herschbach, Emeritus Professor of Chemistry, Harvard University, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, National Medal of Science, Linus Pauling Medal, Irving Langmuir Award, American Institute of Chemists Gold Medal, National Academy of Sciences, American Philosophical Society, American Academy of Arts and Sciences.;
  • Prof. David Wineland, Professor, University of Oregon, Nobel Prize in Physics 2012, America Physical Society (APS), Optica Memberships: National Academy of Sciences 1992, American Academy of Arts and Sciences 2013 APS Schawlow Prize in Laser Science 2001 Presidental Rank Award 2004, 2014 National Medal of Science 2007;
  • Prof. Barry Clark Barish, Linde Professor of Physics (emeritus), California Institute of Technology, Nobel Laureate in Physics, 2017, Member: the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS), the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), the National Science Board (NSB), Fellow of American Physical Society (APS) (President 2011)[37], Fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS);
  • Prof. Elizabeth Blackburn, Professor Emerita, University of California San Francisco, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2009;
  • Prof. Sheldon Glashow, Higgins Professor of physics emeritus, Harvard University, Nobel Prize Laureate in physics 1979, National Academy of Sciences;
  • Prof. C K Shum, Professor and Distinguished University Scholar, School of Earth Sciences, Ohio State University, Nobel Peace Prize 2007 (shared with 1000 IPCC scientists, and Al Gore, Jr);
  • Dr. Marcelo Gleiser, Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Dartmouth College, 2019 Templeton Prize Laureate 1994 Presidential Faculty Fellows Award (Bill Clinton);
  • Prof. Joachim Frank, Professor, Columbia University, 2017 Chemistry Nobel Prize Laureate;
  • Prof. Jack Szostak, Professor, University of Chicago, Nobel Laureate for Physiology/Medicine 2009;
  • Prof. Ry Young, DIstinguished Professor Emeritus, Texas A&M University, MERIT Award, Fellow of American Society of MIcrobiology, Fellow of American Academy of Sciences;
  • Prof. Morteza Gharib, Professor, Caltech, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, National Academy of Inventors, recipient of the 2016 G. I. Taylor Medal from the Society of Engineering Science;
  • Prof. Hossein Sadeghpour, Professor and Director of Institute for Theoretical Atomic Molecular and Optical Physics, Harvard University;
  • Prof. Kazem Kazerounian, Dean of Engineering and Professor of Mechanical Engineering, University of Connecticut, Member of Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering;
  • Prof. Ramesh Sepehrrad, Writer, Scholar, and Adjunct Professor in the School of Public and International Affairs, University of Baltimore;
  • Dr. Hossein Saidian, Professor, University of Kansas;
  • Prof. Julio Ottino, Dean of Engineering and Applied Science, Northwestern University, Member National Academy of Engineering Member National Academy of Sciences Member American Academy of Arts and Sciences Guggenheim Fellow;
  • Prof. Kate Scow, Distinguished Professor, University of California Davis, National Academy of Engineering, National Academy of Science.;
  • Dr. Soolmaz Abooali, Faculty Member, Carter School of Peace and Conflict,, George Mason University, United States Department of State (USDOS), the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition (PCFSN).;
  • Prof. Matthew Tasooji, Professor, CSUSM;
  • Prof. Nancy Grimm, Regents Professor, Arizona State University, Member, National Academy of Sciences and Fellow, AAAS, AGU, ESA, SFS;
  • Prof. Jennifer Hochschild, Professor, Harvard University, former president of American Political Science Association; member of American Academy of Arts and Sciences;
  • Prof. Gregory Lawler, George W. Beadle Distinguished Service Professor of Mathematics and Statistics, The University of Chicago, National Academy of Sciences, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Wolf Prize;
  • Prof. Nader Engheta, H. Nedwill Ramsey Professor of Electrical and Systems Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, Isaac Newton Medal, Max Born Award, National Academy of Inventors, Canadian Academy of Engineering;
  • Prof. Scott Edwards, Professor and Curator, Harvard University, Member, US National Academy of Sciences Member, American Academy of Arts & Sciences Member, American Philosophical Society Member, American Association for the Advancement of Science;
  • Prof. Charles Bernstein, Donald T. Regan Professor, Emeritus, English and Comparative Literature, University of Pennsylvania, Bollingen Prize, Poetry Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences;
  • Prof. John E Cronan, Alumni Professor of Microbiology, Univ of Illinois, Member of National Academy;
  • Dr. Marwan Wafa, Chancellor, Penn State University;
  • Prof. David Seidman, Walter P. Murphy Professor, Northwestern University, National Academy of Engineering, American Academy of Arts & Sciences, American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, Fellow of the American Physical Society, Gold Medal of ASM International;
  • Prof. Enrique Lavernia, Distinguished Professor, UC Irvine, National Academy of Engineering;
  • Dr. James Davis, Professor and Department Head, Utah State University, Member of Academy of Management, Strategic Management Society, Research Board Member for STEP;
  • Prof. Sarah Tishkoff, David and Lyn Silfen University Professor, University of Pennsylvania, Member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences;
  • Dr. Morteza Khaledi, Dean of College of Science, University of Texas - Arlington;
  • Prof. Eva Nogales, Distinguished Professor of Molecular Cell Biology, UC Berkeley - HHMI, Member of the National Academiy of Sciences;
  • Prof. Gary Leal, Professor, Univ of California Santa Barbara, National Academy of Engineering and Academy of Arts and Sciences;
  • Prof. Richard Legro, Chair and University Professor, Penn State College of Medicine, Member, National Academy of Medicine;
  • Prof. Sina Rabbany, Dean and Professor, DeMatteis School of Engineering and Applied Science - Hofstra University;
  • Prof. Galip Ulsoy, Emeritus, University of Michigan, National Academy of Engineering;
  • Prof. Roger Howe, Professor of Mathematics Education, Texas A&M University, Member, National Acasemy of Sciences, AAAS, CASE, TAMEST;
  • Prof. Keya Sadeghipour, Professor and Dean of Engineering, Temple University;
  • Dr. Daniel Lowenstein, Professor of Neurology, University of California, San Francisco, Member, National Academy of Medicine;
  • Prof. Christos Papadimitriou, Professor, Columbia Univ., Member, NAS, NAE, AAAS Godel prize, Von Neumann medal, 8 Honarary Doctorates;
  • Prof. Alex Kolodkin, Professor of Neuroscience, The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, National Academy of Science, National Academy of Medicine;
  • Prof. Arthur Coury, University Distinguished Professor, Northeastern University, Member,National Academy of Engineering; Fellow, AIMBE;
  • Dr. Siamack Shojai, Professor and former Dean, WPU;
  • Prof. Shankar Mahalingam, Dean, College of Engineering, & Distinguished Professor oe Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, The University of Alabama in Huntsville;
  • Prof. David Bercovici, Professor of Earth & Planetary Sciences, Yale University, Member National Academy of Sciences and American Academy of Arts & Sciences;
  • Dr. Ana Barros, Professor and CEE Head, UIUC, National Academy of Engineering;
  • None Bryan Jones, Pickle Regents' Chair in Congressional Studies, University of Texas at Austin, Member of National Academy of Arts and Sciences; Fellow, American Academy of Public Administration;
  • Prof. Diran Apelian, Distinguished Professor, University of California, Irvine, Member: National Academy of Engineering National Academy of Inventors European Academy of Sciences Armenian Academy of Science Chinese Academy of Science;
  • Prof. Eva Silverstein, Professor of Physics, Stanford University, Member of American Academy of Arts and Sciences;
  • Dr. Steven Hillyard, Distinguished Professor of Neurosciences, University of California, San Diego, Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences;
  • Prof. Bruce Levin, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor, Emory University, Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Science and the US National Academy of Science;
  • Prof. Rosalind Picard, Professor, MIT Media Lab, Member of National Academy of Engineers and National Academy of Inventors;
  • Prof. Christopher Hacon, Distinguished Professor, Univ. of Utah, Breakthrough Prize winner, Member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences;
  • Dr. Benjamin Neel, Professor, NYU Grossman School of Medicine, Member of National Academy;
  • Prof. Andrew McCammon, Professor, UCSD, Member, National Academy of Sciences;
  • Prof. Nawal Ammar, Professor and Dean, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Rowan University;
  • Dr. Jaleh Rezaie, Associate Provost & Dean, North Carolina Central University;
  • Dr. Firouz Daneshgari, Professor of Surgery, Case Western Reserve University;
  • Dr. Bennett Bertenthal, James H. Rudy Professor of Psychological & Brain Sciences, Indiana University, former Assistant Director, National Science Foundation; former Dean, College of Arts & Sciences, Indiana University - Bloomington;
  • Prof. Ronald Larson, AH White Distinguished Univ. Prof., University of Michigan, Member, National Academy of Engineering;
  • Prof. Donald Horowitz, James B. Duke Professor Emeritus of Law and Political Science, Duke University, Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences;
  • Dr. Michelle Mello, Professor of Law and Professor of Health Policy, Stanford University, National Academy of Medicine member;
  • Prof. Nicholas Spitzer, Atkinson Family Distinguished Professor, University of California, San Diego, Member National Academy of Sciences;
  • Prof. Svetlana Jitomirskaya, Distinguished Professor/E.M. Hubbard Chair, UC Irvine/Georgia Institute of Technology, OAL IMU Prize, National Academy of Sciences, American Academy of Arts and Sciences;
  • Dr. Sherry Ortner, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, UCLA, MacArthur winner; Member of National Academy;
  • Prof. Linda Smith, Professor, Indiana university, Member of the National Academy of Science;
  • Prof. Nancy Moran, Professor, University of Texas at Austin, Member of US National Academy of Science;
  • Prof. William Jones, Prof. of Chemistry, University of Rochester, Member National Academy of Sciences, Member American Academy of Arts and Sciences;
  • Prof. Michael Green, Professor and Chair, UMass Chan Medical School, Member National Academy of Science and National Academy of Medicine;
  • Prof. Frederick Sigworth, Professor, Yale University, Member, National Academy of Sciences;
  • Prof. Elena Aprile, Centennial Professor of Physics, COlumbia University, Member of the National Academy of Science;
  • Prof. Mark Rasenick, Distinguished UIC Professor, U Illinois College of Medicine, Fellow AAAS, Member National Academy of Sciences (Cuba);
  • Prof. Mahzarin Banaji, Cabot Professor of Social Ethics, Dept of Psychology, Harvard University, National Academy of Science; Am Acad. of Arts & Sciences; Past President, Asso. for Psychological Science;
  • Prof. Daniel Herschlag, Professor, Stanford University, Member, National Academy of Sciences;
  • Prof. Roberta Rudnick, Distinguished Professor, UC Santa Barbara, Member of National Academy of Sciences, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, foreign associate, Chinese Academy of Sciences;
  • Dr. Jahangir Rastegar, Professor, Stony Brook University, Fellow of National Academy of Inventors;
  • Dr. Linda Abriola, Joan Wernig and E. Paul Sorensen Professor of Engineering, Brown University, National Academy of Engineering, American Academy of Arts and Sciences;
  • Prof. Paul Turner, Rachel Carson Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Yale University, National Academy of Sciences; American Academy of Arts & Sciences; American Academy of Microbiology;
  • Dr. Vanila Singh, Clinical Associate Professor, Stanford University School of Medicine, Former Chief Medical Officer US Department of Health and Human Services;
  • Prof. Anne Pusey, James B. Duke Professor Emerita of Evolutionary Anthropology, Duke University, Member of the National Academy of Sciences, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship;
  • Dr. Peter Reich, Professor, Universities of Michigan and Minnesota, BBVA Frontiers of Knowledge Laureate 2010, Member National Academy of Sciences;
  • Prof. David Ross, Professor of Mathematics, University of Hawaii, Editor in Chief, Journal of Logic & Analysis;
  • Dr. Carol Mason, Professor, Columbia University, National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Medicine;
  • Prof. Steven White, Distinguished Professor, UC Irvine, Member, National Academy of Science; Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences;
  • Prof. Mark Cane, G. Unger Vetlesen Professor of Earth and Climate Sciences, Emeritus, Columbia University, National Academy of Sciences, American Academy of Arts and Sciences;
  • Prof. Rogers Smith, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, University Of Pennsylvania, Pulitzer Prize Finalist, Member of American Philosophical Society and American Academy of Arts and Sciences;
  • Dr. Eleonore Stump, Robert J. Henle Professor of Philosophy, Saint Louis University, member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences;
  • Prof. Daron Acemoglu, Instiute Prof, MIT, Field Medal;
  • Prof. Barbara Wolfe, Professor Emerita, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Member, National Academy of Medicine;
  • Prof. James Ahern, Vice Provost & Dean of the School of Graduate Education and Professor of Anthropology, University of Wyoming;
  • Prof. Marlene Zuk, Regents Professor, University of Minnesota, Member, National Academy of Sciences;
  • Prof. Venkat Narayan, Ruth and OC Hubert Professor, Emory University, Member, National Academy of Medicine;
  • Prof. Kevin Struhl, David Wesley Gaiser Professor, Harvard Medical School, Member, National Academy of Sciences; Member, National Academy of Medicine; Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences;
  • Dr. Thomas Cavalieri, Dean, Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine;
  • Prof. Pamela Ronald, Distinguished Professor, University of California, Davis, 2022 Wolf Prize in Agriculture. Member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences;
  • Prof. Susan Troiler-McKinstry, Evan Pugh University Professor, The Pennsylvania State University, Member of the National Academy of Engineering;
  • Prof. Seyla Benhabib, Professor Emerita, Yale University, Member of the American Academy of Sciences, Corresponding Member of the British Academy;
  • Dr. Robert Seyfarth, Professor, University of Pennsylvania, Member, U.S. National Academy of Sciences;
  • Dr. Ali Houshmand, President, Rowan University;
  • Prof. Alex Vilenkin, Professor of Physics, Tufts University, Member of the US National Academy;
  • Prof. Thomas Russell, Silvio O. Conte Distinguished Professor, University of Massachusdetts Amherst, National Academy of Engineering National Academy of Inventors;
  • Dr. Sharon Gorman, Professor, Department of Physical Therapy, Samuel Merritt University, Fellow, National Academies of Practice;
  • Dr. Jeffrey Whitsett, Director of the Perinatal Institute, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Member of the National Academy of Medicine;
  • Dr. George Nemhauser, University Professor (retired), Georgia Tech, National Academy of Engineering;
  • Dr. Marisa Bartolomei, Professor, University of Pennsylvania, Member National Academy Sciences;
  • Prof. Lynn Nottage, Associate Professor, COlumbia University, Pulitzer Prize For Drama, Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences;
  • Prof. Bryna Kra, Sarah Rebecca Roland Professor of Mathematics, Northwestern University, Member of National Academy, Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences;
  • Prof. Rebecca Heald, Professor and Co-Chair, Department of Molecular & Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley, Member of National Academy of Sciences and American Academy of Arts and Sciences;
  • Prof. Gary Parker, Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign USA, Member US National Academy of Sciences;
  • Prof. Adriana Briscoe, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Irvine, Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences; Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and California Academy of Sciences;
  • Dr. Roberta Harvey, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Rowan University;
  • Prof. Alexander Schwarzmann, Dean of the School of Computer and Cyber Sciences, Augusta University;
  • Prof. Ignacio Grossmann, R. Dean University Professor, Carnegie Mellon University, Member of National Academy of Engineering;
  • Prof. Richard Larson, Professor, Post-Tenure, MIT, Member, National Academy of Engineering;
  • Prof. Gareth McKinley, SoE Professor of Teaching Innovation, MIT, Member NAE Fellow of the royal Society (FRS) GI Taylor Medal Bingham Medal;
  • Prof. Daniel Klionsky, Alexander G. Ruthven Professor of Life Sciences, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow, National Science Foundation Director's Award for Distinguished Teaching Scholars, van Deenen Medalist, member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences;
  • Dr. Sofey Saidi, Professor, University of Baltimore;
  • Dr. Witold Krajewski, Professor, University of Iowa, National Academy of Engineering, American Academy of Arts and Sciences;
  • Prof. Gina Turrigiano, Professor of Biology and Neuroscience Program, Brandeis University, MacArthur fellow, Member National Academy of Sciences;
  • Dr. James Manley, Julian Clarence Levi Professor of Lefe Sciences, Columbia University, Member National Academy of Sciences;
  • Dr. Jenny Ting, Profesor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, National Academy of Sciences, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Academia Sinica;
  • Prof. Arvind Arvind, Head of Computer Science Faculty and Professor, MIT, Member National Academy of Engineering, Member American Academy of Arts and Sciences;
  • Prof. Alice Eagly, Professor Emerita, Northwestern University, Member of National Academy of Sciences and Americanl Academy of Arts and Sciences;
  • And 2000+ plus more ......

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