Nareen Melkonian
Jan 26, 2012

Iranian scientist arrested for purchasing high-tech US lab equipment

Microchip expert and assistant professor at Tehran’s Sharif University of Technology, Seyed Mojtaba Atarodi, was recently imprisoned by US law enforcement officials for having bought high-tech US lab equipment. Although Atarodi insists that the equipment was solely for the university lab, US officials feared the use of the multi-purpose materials in Iran’s nuclear weapons program. According to a former vice chancellor of the university, Dr. Fredun Hojabri, tensions between the US and Iran have been causing a lot of problems for harmless Iranian researchers. The verdict of Atarodi’s court hearing, which took place Thursday morning, is not yet clear. The International Atomic Energy Agency says that Iran’s nuclear weapons programs has conducted arms-related research, and the United Nation’s order for Iran to stop extensive uranium enrichment efforts remains ignored.Still, the Iranian government assures the US that all of its research is aimed at peaceful innovation.