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A scientific society in the United States has decided to bar submissions to its journals and conferences from researchers in countries under a US trade embargo.

The decision of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) was adopted last month, six months after other scientific societies and publishers won a battle with the US government to allow such submissions.

It will affect Iran, Cuba, North Korea and Sudan. The institute has already pulled 24 Iranian-authored submissions from its journals.

Last year, the group of publishers filed a lawsuit against the government, alleging that their ruling requiring publishers to seek permission to process material from embargoed nations limited freedom of speech. In December 2004, the US government declared that publishers did not need its permission to process submissions from anywhere in the world (see US allows publication of 'banned' scientific papers).

According to unidentified AIAA sources, the decision has caused dissent within the institute.

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