The U.S. has released Iranian professor Mojtaba Atarodi held in the United States, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said on Friday.
Atarodi arrived in Muscat, capital city of Oman, a Persian Gulf Arab state which enjoys good relations with both Washington and Tehran, on Firday morning and will Muscat for Tehran tomorrow.
“On the instructions of his majesty Sultan Qaboos…to heed the Iranian request, Professor Mojtaba Atarodi, member of the scientific society at Sharif University who had been kept in the United States since 2012 to Muscat airport,” Oman state television reported.
According to a photo published by Iran’s embassy in Oman, Atarodi welcomed by Reza Mihani Hasanzade, Charge d’affaires at the Iranian embassy in Muscat and Naser Esmaeli, an adviser to Sultan Qaboos. in the photo attarodi seems to became weak and lost weigh comparing to his photos of one year earlier.
Atarodi was detained on Dec.7, 2011 in Los Angeles over allegations that he had violated the US export laws by purchasing high-tech American laboratory equipment.
“The areas of his (Atarodi’s) research are all related to mass public usage of Integrated Circuits (IC’s) and systems such as smart cards, central office line cards, and Digital TV set-top box,” A Statement Made by Sharif University of Technology on January 11, 2012 read.
“He has never been involved in any kind of military related type of research. His publications and the thesis of the numerous students supervised under him is a clear indication of that fact,” the statement added.
In an interview with Associated Press, Mojtaba Atarodi denied his involvement in any kind of weapon development program. “My academic and research activityas a Professor in Electrical Engineering department at Sharif University has no association whatsoever with non-consumer and government uses,” he said.
The Dr. Atarodi’s wife also denied charges against her husband. she told PressTV on 2012 that the university scholar “as always was doing an academic research, trying to buy some simple equipment for his personal lab, which had no dual-use technology, and not related to any military work at all.”
The family of Dr. Atarodi also expressed their worry about his health many times during last two years.
Atarodi suffered a stroke upon entering custody on 2012.
“We are very much concerned about the health of Professor Atarodi. He has a well documented history of heart and diabetes problems. Prison conditions, he is currently in, not only exacerbate these problems, but may have a devastating effect on such a sensitive person,” read a statement by the Council Members of Sharif University of Technology.
At the start of 2011, Atarodi won Iran’s prestigious Khwarizmi international award along with twenty-three other scientists.
He won the award for research carried out towards designing a microchip receiver for digital photos. The award was presented to him in the presence of the Iranian president, the minister of science, and Gen. Ahmad Vahidi, the Iranian minister of defense who is in command of Iran’s defense industries.
The 54-year-old scientist is a microchip expert and assistant professor at Sharif University of Technology. He is the author or coauthor of dozens of scientific papers dealing with microchip technology.