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Iran scientist back home after 3-year detention in US

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Picture provided by IRNA on June 3, 2020 shows Iranian scientist Sirous Asgari upon arrival in Tehran after some three years of detention in the United States.

Iranian scientist Sirous Asgari has returned home after spending about three years in detention in the United States owing to the wrongful accusations of stealing and transferring information it to the Islamic Republic.

Asgari, a professor of material sciences at Iran’s Sharif University of Technology, arrived back in the country on Wednesday.

His release was made possible thanks to diplomatic follow-ups by Tehran, despite Washington’s efforts to prolong his detention and exchange him with an Iran-held prisoner.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced Asgari’s release on Tuesday

The 59-year-old, who is a father of three, was arrested in the United States in mid-2017 on charges of fraud and theft of information relating to his work with a university in Ohio. The findings of his project, though, had already been published and made available online.

After a long trial, a federal judge in Ohio acquitted the scientist in November 2019 of the charge of stealing information in violation of the US’s sanctions on Iran.

But because the US had revoked Asgari’s visa, he was taken back into custody, and his request to be sent back home was denied.

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