Iranian national detained in Germany arrives home

February 17, 2020 - 18:15

TEHRAN — An Iranian national who had been detained in Germany over accusations of violating U.S. sanctions has been released and returned home.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Monday that Ahmad Khalili has returned home after extensive diplomatic work, Press TV reported.

Khalili was released on Sunday night following extensive diplomatic consultations and with effective cooperation of Iran’s Judiciary and the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC)’s Intelligence Organization, said Mousavi.

He explained that Khalili had been detained in Germany at the request of Washington on the pretext of violating the United States’ illegal sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

He was set to be extradited to the U.S., the spokesman added.

He said Khalili returned home with Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who had visited Germany to attend the Munich Security Conference.

Late last year, Iranian scientist Masoud Soleimani returned home following his release from a U.S. prison.

Soleimani, a 49-year-old stem cell scientist, left Iran on sabbatical last year, but was arrested upon arrival in Chicago and transferred to prison in Atlanta, Georgia for unspecified reasons.

The United States released him in a prisoner exchange, after which Soleimani flew along with Foreign Minister Zarif from Zurich to Tehran in December 2019.

The prisoner exchange happened through mediation efforts by Switzerland.

Iran also freed an American graduate student who had been imprisoned in Tehran for more than three years on charges of espionage.

U.S. President Donald Trump has imposed the harshest ever sanctions against Iran since he pulled the United States out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. 

Trump’s administration has even threatened to penalize any country or company that does business with Iran. 

Under the nuclear accord, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran had agreed to put limits on its nuclear activities in exchange for termination of economic and financial sanctions.

Since assuming office, Trump’s anti-Iran rhetoric and actions have intensified tension between Tehran and Washington. His policies have also escalated regional tensions, especially in the Persian Gulf.

In reaction to Trump’s strategy of “maximum pressure”, which includes illegal sanctions, Iran has said it is adopting “maximum resistance”.

MH/PA

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