US detention of Iranian scientist ‘very disturbing’

Press TV – The US detention of Iranian scientist, Masoud Soleimani, upon his arrival in the country on an invitation from a research center last year,  was very disturbing, says a journalist who also describes the move as “outside of the law.”

Canadian author and journalist Eric Walberg said in an interview with Press TV that Soleimani’s imprisonment isoutside of the law.”

“But there are ways around they can always keep someone if they [Washington] really want to,” he added.

The 49-year-old Iranian professor and biomedical researcher at Tehran’s Tarbiat Modares University, was detained by the FBI upon his arrival in October last year.

He was travelling to the US with a visa issued upon an invitation by Minnesota-based medical center, the Mayo Clinic, to lead a research program on the treatment of stroke patients.

“That’s very disturbing that even a well-known institute like the Mayo Clinic {is} proudly invites the state department into serving its anti-Iranian politics,” said Walberg.

Prosecutors accused Soleimani and two of his former students of attempting to export biological materials from the US to Iran without authorization, in violation of US sanctions.

Their lawyers, however, insist that the three did nothing wrong.

The two students, who are living in the US, are currently free on bail.

Soleimani, still in jail, appeared in court in May this year. He was charged with trying to transfer to Iran via his students a few vials of growth hormone — a substance readily available on the market and not subject to sanctions.

His lawyer, Leonard Franco, said in a court filing that Soleimani’s research “has led to global lifesaving medical advancements in regenerating non-functional human body parts.”

The scientist is reportedly suffering from several health problems which have been aggravated during his incarceration.

He has also lost his mother during his time in detention.