Trump Regime Releases Iranian Political Prisoner
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)
In October 2018, noted Iranian stem cell scientist Masoud Soleimani was unlawfully arrested on arrival in the US and indefinitely detained on bogus charges.
Granted visa permission to visit the US, he was en route to Rochester, MN to work at the Mayo Clinic, invited to head its research program that deals with treating stroke patients.
He was held without bond, falsely charged with violating (illegal) US sanctions on Iran — a bald-faced Big Lie.
US prosecutors falsely accused him and two of his former graduate students with violating US sanctions by trying to send vials of human growth hormones to Iran.
The hormone in question, used for medical research, isn't affected by US sanctions, Soleimani's attorney Leonard Franco explained.
In detention, he was denied vital medical treatment and otherwise abused, other prisoners falsely told he was a terrorist. See his comment on this below.
Soleimani is a distinguished scientist involved in research on stem cell/regenerative medicine, his work unrelated to unlawful US sanctions.
He arrived home in Tehran on Saturday as part of a prisoner swap, accompanied by Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif.
Iran released dual Chinese/US national Xiyue Wang — arrested, prosecuted, convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison on US spying charges.
At the time, Iranian judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Mohseni Eje'i said he was convicted for being "an infiltrating American agent," adding:
"This person, who was gathering intelligence and was directly guided by the US, was sentenced to 10 years in prison, but the sentence can be appealed."
According to Mizan Online affiliated with Iran's judiciary, he pursued espionage "through the cover of being a researcher."
"He entered the country under the cover of a master's student, but has been gathering secret and top secret (intelligence for) the US state department…the Harvard Kennedy School" and UK Institute of Persian Studies.
He was accused of infiltrating Iran's national archive and putting together 4,500 digital pages of sensitive information.
Iran released him in exchange for Soleimani being able to return home.
In April, Zarif let the Trump regime know his government sought a prisoner swap to gain Soleimani's release from US captivity.
On the day of his release, Iran's foreign minister met him in Zurich. From there, they flew to Tehran, on arrival Zarif saying:
He's "very happy that on National Students Day, one of the greatest professors and scientists of our country is returned home."
He was held in the US "without any reason. They arrested a university professor with 500 scientific articles after they invited him and gave him a visa to do research at the highest US scientific institute."
Offered a release deal by the Trump regime to remain in the US and work here, he turned down the unacceptable offer, Zarif calling him a "patriotic professor," along with thanking Swiss authorities for helping to facilitate his release.
"Over the past 40 years, the US has been trying to hinder Iran's scientific progress. The US maximum pressure has been pursuing such a goal," Zarif added.
Iranian sovereign independence, self-reliance, and scientific advances are major "thorn(s) in the side of those (in the US and their imperial partners) who do not want this nation's prosperity," he stressed.
Soleimani said the following:
"The US aim is to be Iran's enemy. They are Iran's number one enemy."
"When they took me to jail, they told other inmates that I was a terrorist that wanted to detonate a bomb to keep other inmates away from me but others did not believe this claim."
"When I told them that my patients are waiting for me, they told me that it was no problem. Let them die."
"The US is afraid of our developments. That's why we have to strengthen our scientific progress."
He called on Iranians to advance scientific knowledge and development, while thanking Iranian authorities for gaining his freedom.
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