Source: Islamic Republic News Agency
Iranian scholar Mojtaba Atarodi arrived in Tehran Saturday morning after 18 months of imprisonment and home arrest in the US. He was welcomed by the chancellor and his colleagues in Sharif University of Technology.
Mojtaba Atarodi hugs his sons
Chancellor Reza Roosta Azad told IRNA that Atarodi who was visiting the US to take part in a scientific seminar was arrested and detained there for a year and a half.
Mojtaba Atarodi's wife and sons awaiting his arrival at the airport
Atarodi was arrested by American security forces in Los Angeles on December 7, 2011. The US court sentenced him to home imprisonment after prolonging the process of investigation illegally for 16 months. During the detention, he suffered two heart strikes.
Following his detention, Iranian Foreign Ministry started legal activities to defend him, the Ministry's spokesman Ramin Mehmenparast said, noting that the ministry considers release of the Iranian expatriates from prisons as one of its main priorities.
The 54-year-old scientist is a microchip expert and assistant professor at Sharif University of Technology. He is the author and co-author of dozens of scientific papers dealing with microchip technology.
US Scientific circles say detention 'shameless': Atarodi
Source: Mehr News Agency
An Iranian university professor says that the US academic circles have deemed his detention a shame for American people.
Mojtaba Atarodi talking to reporters at the airport in Tehran
Dr. Mojtaba Atarodi, lecturer in Sharif University of Technology told reporters today in Imam Khomeini International Airport in his way back to country after 16 months in house arrest that he would thank God and also "thank people and the officials for their good offices."
"My specialty area is designing, teaching and studying integrated macro electronic circuits," Atarodi told reporters. "I have been frequenting the US for 30 years, and I have been studying in higher education for 12 years. Then, I came back to Iran, while frequenting the US," he added.
"When I was arrested, I was preparing for an annual conference on solid circuits held each February in San Francisco. Before that, a session had been planned with my advisor, which failed due to my arrest," he added.
"Aside from their behavior when they arrested me, the US officials had generally good behavior," Atarodi said. He also commented on his defense of himself in the court. "When the judge studied my case, he said that he had learned much from the case, because it was unique," he added.
In response to a question about his house arrest, Atarodi said that inactivity was as death for him. "I would continue my career if they arrested me 10 times more," he asserted.
He also denied the story that he had been banned from entering the US as 'gossip.'
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