Mahnaz Asadi could not attend the Annual Conference due to the US government sanctions against Iran and Syria.
Just a few weeks before the conference, the Getty Foundation informed CIMAM that attendance by an Iranian government employee at the conference without a specific license from the U.S. government puts U.S. sponsors at risk of violating existing U.S. sanctions regarding the government of Iran. These sanctions were in place since 2012, but the Getty Foundation only recently learned that the scope of the sanctions was broader and the exceptions narrower than they had previously believed.
Unfortunately, the application process for a license could take many months. Unaware of the scope of restrictions, the Getty did not apply for a license for Mahnaz. Therefore, if Mahnaz would have participated in the conference even as a delegate not supported by the Getty, the Getty would have had to withdraw support for the whole program and CIMAM would have been in the unfortunate position of having to return all grant funds.
As the travel grants for the 20 curators supported by the Getty have already been expended, and the conference was about to take place in less than two weeks, the Board decided that the only feasible option was to offer our colleague a definite place at the conference in 2018 which will allow time to seek an exemption.
The Getty was as dismayed as CIMAM was and was committed to supporting a global network of professionals from all countries, and to do so in compliance with all applicable laws. They remain fully committed to furthering these goals, and are currently exploring the process for licenses for future projects.
The CIMAM Board deplores the fact that the sanctions are preventing museum professionals in Iran from taking part in global discussions about museum practice.