Renowned MIT stem cell scientist Rudi Jaenisch believes that more scientific cooperation could lead to more understanding and less fanaticism and intolerance in the relationship between the US and Iran. He recently travelled to Teheran and found that Iranian stem cell scientists are well funded and work under very permissive regulations. The only real restriction appears to be a ban on human reproductive cloning. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the country’s spiritual leader and highest authority, even paid a visit recently to a brand new stem cell undertaking, the Royan Institute, to express his support.
Dr Jaenisch laments that Iranian scientists work under conditions which would be unbearable in the US. But these are caused not by the ethics of the Islamic regime, but by American trade restrictions which make it impossible to obtain technology which is essential for research.
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