Return of Iranian scientist in US jail to country confirmed: MP

TEHRAN, May 04 (MNA) – Referring to the latest status of Iranian scientist imprisoned in the US, Spokesman for the Iranian Parliament's National Security Committee, Hossein Naghavi Hosseini said according to representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Defense and Intelligence, Asgari’s return to the country has been confirmed.

Parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission has held a meeting to address the situation of an Iranian scientist who has contracted COVID-19 in a US jail. The session was held on Monday with the Foreign Ministry officials in attendance.

Referring to the remarks of representative of Iran’s Foreign Ministry, Naghavi Hosseini said that Asgari is one of the country's elites and specialists, and yesterday he was supposed to be tested for coronavirus, and if the test is negative, he will definitely be returned to Iran immediately.

Dr. Asgari, a materials science and engineering professor who spoke out in March about the unsanitary and “inhumane” conditions in detention, was placed in an isolation cell this week inside an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) jail in Louisiana, Guardian reported.

His lawyers learned last week that his Covid-19 test was positive, and in a phone call with the Guardian, said Asgari had had a fever for days and cough.

He and his family are calling for his release to a medical facility where he can receive proper care.

Vice-Chairman of Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Mohammad Javad Jamali Nobandegani on Saturday called on the UN Secretary-General António Guterres to take necessary actions for the release of Dr. Asgari.

Asgari’s story sparked international outrage after he spoke about his fears of Covid-19 spreading inside crowded Ice facilities with substandard cleaning practices and a lack of supplies. The professor, who has a history of respiratory problems, was exonerated in a US sanctions trial last year, but Ice has refused to release him or allow him to return to Iran. Iran’s foreign minister recently called for his release, as have some US lawmakers and human rights groups.

ZZ/IRN 83775584

News Code 158330

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