Catalytic Diplomacy

Note to Scientific Exchange

At that time, the Iranian scientists had encouraged me to have my book translated into Farsi, and I had asked the Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) for permission to pay $5,000 to some Iranian firm to translate the book (royalties in developing countries never cover the translation costs). They denied the request. When Secretary Albright’s speech came out a few weeks later, I asked them why they were not in compliance with her speech. They said they only followed the “regs.” When this amusing incident was reported in the Washington Post by Nora Boustany (“Putting the Polis in Public Policy,” March 31, 2000), OFAC relented but said its decision was “not a precedent.”

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