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Sharif University calls arrest of Iranian professor by U.S. "hideous" and "childish" action

Sources: Fars News Agency & Mehr News Agency, Tehran

Professor Mojtaba Atarodi
Sharif University of Technology in a statement on Saturday lashed out at the US for detaining a prominent Iranian university professor, Seyed Mojtaba Atarodi, for buying laboratory equipment, and said the move proves Washington's monopolistic attempts to prevent the spread and growth of science.

Atarodi was detained on December 7 after stepping off a plane in Los Angeles. He has been reportedly charged for violating US exports law by buying lab equipment. On Saturday, ISNA reported that Atarodi has been released on a bail of $460,000 and will be placed under observation at his brother's house in California until the court hands down a final ruling on the case in four months.

Tehran's Sharif University of Technology, the employer of an Iranian academic, has labeled the arrest of professor Atarodi as "anti-science".

"The public relations department of the Sharif University of Technology condemns the detention of Dr. Mojtaba Atarodi," the statement said, adding that he is a microchip expert and assistant professor at Tehran's Sharif University of Technology and the author or coauthor of dozens of scientific papers on microchip technology.

According to the statement, Seyed Mojtaba Atarodi travelled to the U.S. on December 7 for heart disease treatment. During his trip he had legally purchased some simple lab equipment. The statement also said that buying laboratory equipment by a university professor is something natural and common in the world, and stressed that Atarodi's field of activity is civilian and not military.

The statement added that it was shameful for a country that claimed to be an advocate of scientific progress to take such a "hideous" and "childish" action. "It is surprising that the US which claims to be a pioneer in spreading science in the world embarks on such ugly and childish acts," the statement said, concluding that such measures won't impede the progress of the Iranian universities.

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