Covert US War on Iranian Scientists

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Covert US War on Iranian Scientists

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman)

In cahoots with Israel, the US has been waging protracted dirty war on Iran by other means, ongoing for decades.

Its tactics include destabilizing actions and imposing multiple rounds of illegal sanctions, pressuring world community nations not to buy Iranian oil, gas, and other products, aiming to crush its economy and isolated the country internationally. 

What hasn’t worked for 40 years won’t likely ahead, short of war, what’s possible but unlikely given strong world community opposition.

Tactics also include targeting Iranian scientists, assassinating or arresting them to harm the country’s technological and scientific development.

Last October, noted Iranian stem cell scientist Masoud Soleimani was unlawfully arrested and indefinitely detained on arrival in the US.

Granted visa permission to visit the US, he was en route to Rochester, MN to work at the Mayo Clinic, invited to head one of its research programs.

For over seven months, he’s been held without bond. According to attorney Leonard Franco representing him, he and two of his former students were secretly indicted, falsely charged with trade sanctions violations, relating to vials of human growth hormone.

They were seized from one of his former students in 2016 by US customs agents while Obama was still president. 

US hostility toward Iran is longstanding, persisting before, during, and especially after his time in office. Despite agreeing to the JCPOA nuclear deal on his watch, he breached it straightaway, violating it several times.

It took effect in January 2016, an international agreement unanimously adopted by the Security Council, making it binding international and US constitutional law under its Supremacy Clause (Article 6, Clause 2).

Hostility toward Iran by Republicans and undemocratic Dems since its 1979 revolution is all about wanting to return the country to US client state status, seeking to exploit it as vassal state, wanting to gain control over its vast oil and gas resources, along with eliminating Israel’s main regional rival.

These objectives cut to the heart of Trump regime actions against the country, going all out to weaken it short of military intervention — so far.

Attorney Franco said the growth hormone in question is used legally in the US, Iran and elsewhere. Soleimani is involved in medical research, his work “considered largely exempt from (US) sanctions.”

His former students Mahboobe Ghaedi and Maryam Jazayeri face similar federal charges for attempting to supply with vials of the growth hormone.

Ghaedi, a permanent US resident, is an assistant professor at Yale’s School of Medicine. According to court records, a functioning transplantable lung was made possible by her lung regeneration research.

Facing false charges, prosecution, and possible imprisonment, she was released from custody on a $250,000 bond.

Jazayeri was freed on a $200,000 bond. A naturalized US citizen, she’s been involved in medical research at the University of Louisville.

Motions to dismiss charges against them are pending, not responded to so far by federal prosecutors. 

The growth hormone in question was legally allowed for export to Iran from April 7, 2014 – December 22, 2016. According to Ghaedi’s attorney Joe Whitley, the biological material is exempt from sanctions.

In early May, he filed a motion on her behalf because she, Jazayeri, and Soleimani violated no US laws.

The FBI said it found “no nefarious purpose” behind Soleimani’s request for a former student deliver the growth hormone in question to him for medical research.

He was secretly indicted in June 2018, a month after DJT’s JCPOA pullout, four months before arriving in the US, his visa not rescinded even though charged, showing the Trump regime wanted him arrested, prosecuted, and imprisoned as part of its war by other means on Iran.

His attorney Franco stressed that his unacceptable mistreatment runs counter to his noted reputation as an academic, scholar, and stem cell/regenerative medicine researcher — his work violating no US laws.

So far, Trump regime prosecutors haven’t officially commented on his arrest and detention. On Wednesday, his brother Rasoul said US authorities “did not transfer (him) to a normal prison, and he is kept in a detention center in which people with social abnomalies are imprisoned,” adding: 

“They have asked my brother to confess on trying to circumvent the sanctions, but he has not surrendered to their demands.”

He “said he has done nothing wrong.” He’s also “suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and the disease has relapsed after his detention.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, its symptoms include cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, or both, a chronic condition requiring longterm management.

Iran’s Minister of Science, Research and Technology Mansour Gholami accused the US of “trapping Iranian scientists,” adding:

“The US has gained the names of a number of Iranian professors, who have been researching and publishing articles in some fields and have purchased some laboratory equipment.”

“They issue visas for Iranian professors and then arrest them as soon as (they) arrive in the US,” aiming to undermine Iranian technological and scientific development.

Soleimani is held hostage to US hostility toward Iran, especially since Trump took office.

Reportedly, around 50 Iranian nationals are imprisoned in the US, largely on charges of violating (illegally imposed) sanctions.

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.