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The US Department of Energy (DoE) is barring a prize-winning Iranian physicist from working in his lab. Shahram Rahatlou had worked at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) for six years but was told in February 2003 that he was no longer allowed entry.

Rahatlou won the 2004 Mitsuyoshi Tanaka Dissertation Award for 'an exceptional thesis in experimental particle physics'. But his career is now effectively on hold following the introduction of new security measures in the wake of the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks.

This is despite that fact that SLAC is a civilian facility that does not conduct classified or sensitive research. Furthermore, Rahatlou's immigration status is not in question. According to Rahatlou's colleagues, no explanation has been forthcoming, and the DoE states that there is no opportunity to appeal.

Reference: Nature 429, 229 (2004)

Link to full news story in Nature

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