Iranian Professor Jailed in U.S. Returns Home – Report

DUBAI, June 3 (Reuters) – An Iranian professor who was acquitted in the United States of stealing trade secrets arrived in Iran on Wednesday, Iranian media reported.

Sirous Asgari
FILE PHOTO: Sirous Asgari.
– Tasnim News Agency]. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Materials science professor Sirous Asgari, 59, was indicted by U.S. federal prosecutors in April 2016. A federal judge in Ohio acquitted Asgari in November 2019.

Tehran and Washington have denied reports that his release was part of a prisoner swap.

U.S. authorities said in May that Asgari, who tested positive for the novel coronavirus in April, would be deported once he received medical clearance.

Photos published by Iranian state media showed Asgari being reunited with his family in Tehran on Wednesday.

Last year, Iran freed U.S. citizen Xiyue Wang, who had been held for three years on spying charges, and the United States released Iranian Massoud Soleimani, who faced charges of violating U.S. sanctions on Iran.

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus has led Iran, the worst-hit country in the region, to temporarily release some prisoners in a bid to curb the spread of infections.

In mid-March, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tehran was considering freeing some U.S. citizens as Michael White, a U.S. navy veteran who has been detained in Iran since 2018, was released from prison on medical furlough. He remains in Iran.

(Writing by Parisa Hafezi Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)