Like many of you, I have been scratching my head trying to figure out the decision of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) to suspend its activities, publication and contribution rights to the many bright and enthusiastic engineers and professionals whose only crime is to live within the borders of Cuba, Iran, Libya, and Sudan.
My first impression and response is that the IEEE has made perhaps one of the most illogical and questionable decisions in the history of professional societies and associations.
As a professional in the business world, however, I tried to first understand the technical details involved in this decision, primarily as it relates to U.S. government laws and regulations, especially those laws that have come to exist thanks to evangelist Pat Robertson's favorite attorney general, John Ashcroft.
But as you begin to review the facts, you realize that IEEE has been too willing and has rushed to these limitations, as they say, putting the cart before the horse!
It has come to light that the IEEE first began implementing restrictions against the said members 9 months before its first inquiry to the US government about such actions. This is an enquiry to which the US government hasn't responded to this day. So, the IEEE had every excuse and even legal protection, to be able to refrain from such actions and at least postpone them as much as possible!
Now, the other beef I have is with the army of Iranian professionals and entrepreneurs, especially those who came to prominence and success in the boom of 1990's. There are hundreds if not thousands of Iranian-born engineers and professionals who consider themselves icons and pillars of the Silicon Valley world and have not missed a chance to promote and announce their “success” to their expatriates.
My question is where the hell are you? Where is the family of entrepreneurs who is proud of having created Qualcomm? Aren't you the guys who sued the government of the United States and won billions of dollars? What good is your billions, your prominence in the Silicon Valley and all that hot air you've been feeding us if you can't influence such unjust discriminations against your old countrymen?
Where are all those Iranian-American PhD's, professors, businessmen and scientists who proudly attend talk shows on Iranian radio and satellite TV stations and claim to have their hands on the pulse of America's business, science and technology? How come we don't hear from people who gather and mingle in their professional associations, under such titles as Silicon Iran and mingle in their elitist conferences?