The world's largest association of technical professionals is under attack by thousands of its members worldwide who are angry at the way it has chosen to comply with the US trade embargoes of Iran, Cuba, Libya, and Sudan.

More than 5100 people—most of them members of the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE)—have signed a petition calling on the organization to “cease discrimination against IEEE members from countries that are embargoed by the US government.”

Members from nonembargoed countries are mad about several actions IEEE has taken—and hidden from them, they say—over the past 2 years: abruptly dropping embargoed members' services, not approaching other scientific organizations for help in fighting one particularly objectionable embargo regulation, and unilaterally pushing for federal ruling on its meaning that now prohibits all American societies from publishing almost all Iranian-authored papers.

“This has created just tremendous bad will toward the IEEE,” said Kenneth...

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