The exterior of the US Department of Justice headquarters building in Washington, DC, US on July 14, 2009. (REUTERS)

July 8, 2019

An Iranian scientist who was coming to the US for a prestigious visiting scientist position was arrested on arrival.

Prosecutors in Atlanta have accused professor Masoud Soleimani and two of his former students of conspiring and attempting to export biological materials from the U.S. to Iran without authorization in violation of U.S. sanctions.

Defense attorneys for the three argue no authorization was needed because the recombinant proteins are medical materials.

The proteins were seized from one of the scientists at the Atlanta airport as she traveled to Iran in September 2016. Prosecutors got an indictment in June 2018, and Soleimani was arrested in October.

The two former students – Mahboobe Ghaedi and Maryam Jazayeri – live in the US and are free on bond. Soleimani remains in custody.

Asharq Al-Awsat

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Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.