FM Zarif calls for release of all Iranians imprisoned in US

MNA – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif referred to the upcoming return of an Iranian citizen who has been jailed in the US, calling on Washington to release all Iranian hostages.

“Pleased that Dr. Majid Taheri and Mr. White will soon be joining their families,” Zarif wrote on his Twitter account on Thursday.

“Prof. Sirous Asgari was happily reunited with his family on Weds. This can happen for all prisoners,” he added.

“No need for cherry picking. Iranian hostages held in—and on behalf of—the US should come home,” the Iranian foreign minister noted.

Tehran announced on Thursday the release of a US citizen, Michael White, who had been imprisoned on security charges in Iran.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi said Mr. White was released with Islamic kindness and based human rights considerations and left Tehran to join his family soon.

He added that “simultaneous with White’s release, Majid Taheri, an Iranian scientist who was imprisoned in the United States for false reasons, was released too.”

Majid Taheri was sentenced to 16 months in prison for charges of circumventing unilateral anti-Iranian sanctions.

On Wednesday, Iranian scientist Sirous Asgari, a professor of material sciences at Iran’s Sharif University of Technology, also returned home after spending about three years in detention in the US on trumped-up charges of fraud and theft of information relating to his work with a university in Ohio.

In December 2019, Zarif said Tehran was ready for a full prisoner exchange with the United States, tweeting, “The ball is in the US’ court”. His comments were made after Iran freed US citizen Xiyue Wang, who had been held for three years on spying charges, and the United States released Iranian stem cell scientist Massoud Soleimani. Soleimani was on a sabbatical when he was arrested by US authorities upon arrival in Chicago a year ago and transferred to a prison in Atlanta, Georgia on charges of violating US sanctions on Iran.