Seyyed Mojtaba Atarodi traveled to the United States in December 2011 to attend an academic seminar and was detained by the US security forces, Mehmanparast said on Friday. The fifty - five - year - old scientist was arrested for allegedly buying high - tech US lab equipment. He was charged with violating US export laws and sent to a federal prison in California.
“Immediately after Atarodi’s arrest, necessary measures for the legal protection of him were adopted that resulted in his prison sentence being commuted to a house arrest, ” Mehmanparast stated.
He further stressed Iran ' s support for the rights of detained Iranian nationals abroad and efforts to secure their release at the earliest. The release of detained Iranians abroad is among the main priorities of Iran’s Foreign Ministry, Mehmanparast said, adding that the ministry would spare no effort in this regard. Atarodi is a microchip expert and associate professor at Iran’s prestigious Sharif University of Technology. He is also the author or coauthor of dozens of scientific papers. Omani state television has reported that Atarodi arrived in the capital, Muscat, on Friday, after being released.