The United States has kept top Iranian stem cell scientist Masoud Soleimani behind bars without any fair trial for one year on sanctions violation charges, which observers believe have no legal basis and are merely aimed at increasing pressure on Iran and hampering its scientific growth.
Soleimani, professor and biomedical researcher at Tehran’s Tarbiat Modares University, was detained by the FBI upon arrival in the US.
He was traveling with a visa issued upon an invitation by a prestigious Minnesota-based medical center, the Mayo Clinic, to lead a research program on the treatment of stroke patients.
Prosecutors in Atlanta have accused Soleimani, who works in stem cell research, hematology and regenerative medicine, and two of his former students of conspiring and attempting to export biological materials from the US to Iran without authorization, in violation of American sanctions.
The two students were charged in a court and released after posting bail because they held US citizenship.
Federal prosecutors claim the attempted transport was illegal and secretly obtained an indictment against Soleimani in June 2018.
During his sole court appearance on May 14, 2019, Soleimani 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.
Analysts believe Soleimani’s charges are a mere excuse to justify his illegal imprisonment, which serves, in fact, as yet another pressure tool in the US hands against Iran.
The scientist is reportedly suffering from several health problems which have been aggravated during his incarceration.
Source: Press TV