Published on : 06/01/2020 – 10:50Modified : 06/01/2020 – 10:50
Scientist Cyrous Asgari, detained in the United States after being accused of theft of industrial secrets, will be released and will return to Iran in the coming days, according to the Iranian Foreign Ministry.
Innocent Iranian scientist Cyrous Asgari, who was detained in the United States after being accused of theft of trade secrets, will be released in the coming days, announced Monday 1er June the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“Dr. Cyrous Asgari’s case has been closed in America and he will likely return to the country in two or three days,” said ministry spokesman Abbas Moussavi, according to Iranian news agency Isna. “It will happen if no problem or obstacle emerges by then,” he added.
>> See: “United States vs Iran: a crisis that reconciles Iranian population and regime?”
Contaminated with the new coronavirus
Accused of theft of industrial secrets during an academic visit to Ohio, Cyrous Asgari was acquitted in November but remains in detention, apparently for reasons related to immigration laws.
The Iranian foreign ministry said last month that Mr. Asgari contracted the new coronavirus during his detention.
In March, the scientist told the British daily The Guardian that the American immigration police kept him in a detention center in Louisiana without basic sanitation and refused to return to Iran despite his acquittal.
Iran and the United States, enemies for decades, still reciprocally detain several nationals of the other country and have recently called for their release because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Tehran calls for prisoner exchange
Iran is the most affected country in the Middle East, with more than 150,000 infections, including nearly 8,000 dead. Abroad as well as inside the country, officials and experts suspect the official figures to be largely underestimated.
The United States is the most affected country in the world, with nearly 1.8 million cases, including more than 104,000 deaths.
Several arrests or convictions of Iranians have taken place in the United States since US President Donald Trump denounced in 2018 the international Iranian nuclear agreement concluded in 2015 and reinstated heavy sanctions against Tehran.
Iran, which holds at least five Americans, recently called for a comprehensive prisoner swap with the United States, which detains fifteen Iranians according to a list compiled by AFP from official releases and press information.