Alwaght- Iran’s Foreign Ministry warned Iranian nationals, particularly scientists, about visiting the United States, citing arbitrary and lengthy detention in inhuman conditions in the US.
“Iranian citizens, particularly elites and scientists, are requested to seriously avoid traveling to America, even to take part in scientific conferences and even having an invitation,” the advisory published on the foreign ministry’s website said on Tuesday.
The ministry cited “America’s cruel and one-sided laws toward Iranians, especially Iranian elites, and arbitrary and lengthy detention in completely inhuman conditions” as reasons for the travel advisory.
In April, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif publicly expressed Tehran’s preparedness for a prisoner swap with the US.
Zarif called on Washington to swap all Iranians jailed in the US and on extradition requests from the US, mostly for alleged violations of US export restrictions and sanctions violations, with those imprisoned in Iran.
Iran and the United States swapped prisoners on Saturday.
Iranian stem cell scientist Dr. Masoud Soleimani was released after spending over a year in US detention without any formal charges and American graduate student, Xiyue Wang, detained for three years on spying charges in Iran, was freed in return.
Soleimani, 49, left Iran on sabbatical back in October last year, but was arrested upon arrival in Chicago and transferred to prison in Atlanta, Georgia, for unspecified reasons.
Prosecutors in Atlanta had accused him and two of his former students of conspiring and attempting to export vials of human growth hormone from the US to Iran without authorization, in violation of US sanctions.
Soleimani said American authorities told other inmates he was a terrorist.
The Iranian foreign minister also reiterated on Monday that the Islamic Republic was “fully ready” to exchange more prisoners with the US.
Tensions between Washington and Tehran have been rising since President Donald Trump withdrew the US from a 2015 landmark deal and imposed unilateral sanctions against Iran, mainly targeting its oil exports.
Despite Washington’s withdrawal, Tehran remained completely compliant with the deal for an entire year as confirmed by the International Atomic Energy Agency in several reports, waiting for the co-signatories to fulfill their end of the bargain by offsetting the impacts of the sanctions.
The European signatories, however, failed to fulfill their end of the bargain, prompting Tehran to take a set of retaliatory measures.