STORRS, Conn., Nov. 2, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — More than 2,000 faculty members and academic leaders across several hundred universities in the United States have launched an open letter to President Biden seeking his urgent attention to a dire situation in the Iranian universities where thousands of students and faculty have been killed, injured, or arrested since September, says Professor Kazem Kazerounian. They ask President Biden “to take urgent action to prevent such casualties and loss of life.” Repressive forces affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps are ordered to “mercilessly confront” protesters, everywhere including on over 100 university campuses across Iran. The signatories find the regime’s attacks “appalling and totally unacceptable.”
The growing 2000+ signatories include 10 American Nobel laureates, one Templeton Laureate, 125 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, and Fields Medal. The signatories include more than 425 Iranian-American professors.
CalTech Hans W. Liepmann Professor of Aeronautics Dr. Morteza Gharib, member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering said: “I finished my undergraduate degree at Tehran University. The videos from students’ struggle for freedom and democracy in Iran reminds me of my time, where the students of my generation struggled for freedom from monarchical dictatorship, and its continuation by the current generation of students in Iran’s universities against Khamenei and his brutal regime.”
Referring to Iran’s “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,” co-signers of the letter urge President Biden to take “tangible actions.” In particular, the professors ask that the US “halt any and all negotiations with the Iranian regime, and prevent any sanctions relief,” until “all violators of human rights in Iran are held accountable.” The signatories further ask President Biden to “recognize the universally accepted right of the Iranian people to self-defense as they seek to attain sovereignty and self-determination.”
Dr. Soolmaz Abooali, faculty at George Mason University, 14-time US Champion, and four-time World Champion in Traditional Karate says, “I am so proud to see how the 1950’s student movement legacy continues and this time with women at the helm. Their fight is our fight and Iran will be free of any dictatorships soon.”
Prof. Hossein Sadeghpour, Professor and Director of Institute for Theoretical Atomic Molecular and Optical Physics, Harvard University, added: “Iranians on college campuses or the streets deserve to enjoy similar rights as we have in the United States.”
UConn Dean of Engineering Professor Kazem Kazerounian says “thousands of faculty and university students stood against the theocracy over the past four decades and paid the ultimate price, the new generation is ready to move the nation from its decades of tyranny to a democratic and secular republic Iran; the academic world must fully support them.”
SOURCE Professor Kazem Kazerounian