In a new move against Iranian scientists, Washington has refused to release on bail Iranian professor Mojtaba Atarodi held in the United States, an Iranian Foreign Ministry official says. Head of the Iranian Foreign Ministry Department for Iranian Expatriates’ Affairs Kazem Sajjadi said on Sunday, “The US government refused to release on bail Mojtaba Atarodi, a professor at Tehran’s Sharif University of Technology, denying the academic a temporary return to Iran to attend the wedding ceremony of his daughter.” Sajjadi added that Washington ignored humanitarian considerations for the innocent Iranian national.
Atarodi was detained on December 7, 2011 in Los Angeles over allegations that he had violated the US export laws by purchasing high-tech American laboratory equipment.The 54-year-old scientist is a microchip expert and assistant professor at Sharif University of Technology. He is the author or coauthor of dozens of scientific papers dealing with microchip technology. International lawyer Franklin Lamb said the Iranian professor’s arrest was another attempt by the US to mount pressure on Tehran with the purpose of impeding Iran’s progress in the fields of science and technology. SF/HSN/MA