Iran scientist acquitted in U.S. trade secrets case deported
An Iranian scientist imprisoned in the U.S. and acquitted in a federal trade secrets case is on his way back to Iran after being deported, Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said.
Sirous Asgari was in the air on a flight back to Iran, Zarif said in an Instagram post. "Congratulations to his wife and his esteemed family," the minister wrote.
Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency later reported the news, citing Zarif.
Asgari, a professor at Iran’s Sharif University of Technology, had been indicted in April 2016, accused by federal prosecutors of trying to steal secret research from Case Western Reserve University. The Cleveland school had been working on a project for the U.S. Navy Office of Naval Research to create and produce anti-corrosive stainless steel.
Asgari ultimately was acquitted in November after U.S. District Judge James Gwin tossed out the case by the prosecutors.
Among the U.S. citizens held in Iran is U.S. Navy veteran Michael White, of Imperial Beach, California. White was detained in July 2018 while visiting a girlfriend in Iran. He was convicted of insulting Iran’s supreme leader and posting private information online.