Kelley Drye Successfully Convinces U.S. Treasury to Allow UCLA Professor to Bring Dulcimers from Iran into United States

Kelley Drye represented an internationally renowned musician and retired UCLA professor of musicology, in convincing the U.S. government to allow his importing four miniature dulcimers from Iran into the United States.

In August 2007, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents had seized the instruments that a relative in Tehran had sent to Manoochehr Sadeghi based on U.S. trade sanctions against Iran in place since 1979.

However, after considering a petition filed by Kelley Drye & Warren, the Office of Foreign Assets Control at the U.S. Department of Treasury granted Professor Sadeghi a license to import the dulcimers and subsequently released the instruments to him in late March 2008.

Kelley Drye documented the professor’s accomplishments. Now a naturalized citizen, Professor Sadeghi had moved to the United States in 1964. He performed with the Iranian national orchestra and before foreign dignitaries including Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and the late King Hussein of Jordan. His students have included Daniel Sheehy, the director of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings and Jimmy Delshad, the mayor of Beverly Hills, California. Professor Sadeghi has performed at the Kennedy Center and received the National Heritage Award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The professor uses the dulcimers to privately teach students, give concert performances and promote greater understanding of Iranian culture and music. He plans to eventually donate the dulcimers to museums throughout the United States.

Although dulcimers are manufactured and available for purchase in the United States, they do not compare in quality and craftsmanship to the dulcimers still made in Iran. Commenting on his receipt of the license, Professor Sadeghi said, Music transcends all political boundaries and differences. I am enormously grateful to the Treasury Department for not letting our current relations with Iran stand in the way of my receiving these wonderful instruments.”

Beverly Hills Mayor Delshad, reached at his office, commented that Professor Sadeghi is the world’s leading master of the Persian santur, and it has been a privilege to be his pupil.”

Kelley Drye represented Manoochehr Sadeghi in this case.