The aircraft carrying scientist Cyrous Asgari, detained for several years in the United States after being accused of theft of industrial secrets, took off from US territory on Tuesday.
“Good news, an aircraft carrying Dr. Cyrous Asgari has taken off from America. Congratulations to his wife and family,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted on Tuesday, June 2. The aircraft repatriating the Iranian scientist, who was jailed for several years in the United States on charges of theft of industrial secrets before he was acquitted, took off from US territory.
Despite his acquittal in November last year, the Iranian scientist remained imprisoned in the United States, apparently for reasons related to immigration laws.
>> See: “US vs. Iran: A Crisis Reconciling the Iranian People and the Regime?”
Contaminated with the new corona virus
The Iranian Foreign Ministry said last month that Cyrous Asgari had received the new corona virus during his detention.
In March, the researcher told the British daily The Guardian that the US 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, are still mutually detaining several citizens of the other country and have recently requested that they be released because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Tehran demands the exchange of prisoners
Iran is the most affected country in the Middle East, with more than 150,000 infections, including almost 8,000 dead. Overseas and domestic officials and experts suspect that the official figures are 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 in 2018 condemned the International Iranian Nuclear Agreement signed in 2015 and reinstated heavy sanctions against Tehran.
Iran, which holds at least five Americans, recently demanded a comprehensive prisoner exchange with the United States, which detains fifteen Iranians according to a list compiled by AFP from official releases and press information.