The wife of jailed Iranian scientist Masoud Soleimani, Mahnaz Rabie, alongside relatives and colleagues of her husband, held a press conference in Tehran on Tuesday, condemning the United States justice system and urging his release from prison.
Rabie’s comment follows the anniversary of Soleimani’s detention in the United States, which has reportedly led to his deteriorated mental and physical conditions.
Masoud Soleimani, who was conducting research on how to treat stroke patients, travelled to the United States last year, after being invited by Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, where he was detained for allegedly violating trade sanctions.
“Professor Soleimani was arrested regarding charges over violating sanctions against Iran. However, he did not live in the US, did not do any business there and also did not buy anything,” said Rabie.
“His two students were transferring the materials, the artificial-growth-hormones materials which are just for medical research, and even the materials had not been transferred and they [the students] mentioned the professor’s name [Dr. Soleimani]. He did not commit any crime,” she added.
Yaghoub Fatollahi, who works at the School of Medical Sciences at Tarbiat Modares University, also slammed the US government stating that if there was a documented crime, the US would have announced it clearly. “It has been more than one year that no documented claim has been presented in this regard yet. This is the attitude that is only expected from the US and their arrogance,” he stated.
Soleimani, who is currently imprison near Atlanta, is facing a maximum penalty of 20 years in jail for conspiring and attempting to export unauthorised biological materials from the US to Iran.