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[Correspondence] Iran, sanctions, and collaborations

In their letter, Rezaee-Zavareh and colleagues1 (Jan 2, p 28) ascertained that international collaboration in medical research was comparatively scarce in Iran, possibly because of sanctions, and argued that lifting sanctions might improve the quality and quantity of Iranian scientific research. Although this argument might be true, their figure1 shows that, in 2005–14, the rate of growth of international collaboration in Iran was similar to that in Israel and Egypt, lower than that in Saudi Arabia, and greater than that in Turkey, which was not under sanctions—suggesting that sanctions in Iran did not affect such collaboration.