Iranian science can reign again
In recent years, Iran has increased public investment in science, and the country's spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has called upon the nation to develop in all sectors of science.
This editorial in Nature welcomes the moves to boost science in a country that was, in ancient times, renowned for its scientific prowess.
The Iranian government has introduced reforms giving universities and research institutions more independence. In February, academics' salaries were increased, and the publication rate of Iranian researchers in international journals has quadrupled in the past decade.
But, warns the editorial, the isolation of Iranian researchers means ensuring that Iran's scientific re-emergence continues could be difficult. US sanctions and travel restrictions make it difficult for Iranian researchers to obtain scientific equipment or attend meetings in the United States.
Much will depend on the 17 June presidential election, which could lead to greater reform or a move away from science, says the editorial. Either way, scientists everywhere should support the efforts of their Iranian counterparts to build a new scientific era in Iran.