Mar 27, 2020 18:11 UTC
  • Coronavirus spread keeping up, Iran's Zarfi urges release of Iranians jailed in horrific US facilities

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif urges the United States to release innocent Iranian scientists jailed in horrific US facilities amid the pandemic of the new coronavirus.

"US has taken several Iranian scientists hostage—without charge or on spurious sanctions charges—& not releasing them; even when its OWN courts reject the absurd charges," Zarif said in a post on his Twitter account on Friday.

Amid the pandemic, the US administration has even refused medical furlough for innocent Iranians jailed in horrific facilities, he added.

He also attached to his tweet an image of an interview published by the British daily Guardian quoting an Iranian scientist detained by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as saying that the ICE’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak may kill him along with many other inmates.

The daily Guardian published an interview with Iranian materials science and engineering professor Sirous Asghari on Friday detailing the “inhumane” jail conditions at his ICE facility.

Asghari, which is being detained indefinitely by ICE despite being exonerated in a US sanctions trial last November, said that little is being done to protect inmates from the outbreak in his “filthy and overcrowded” detention center.

Zarif on Wednesday blasted US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for keeping up a “third-rate propaganda” barrage against Tehran even at a time when the world is busy fighting a deadly coronavirus pandemic.

“Even a pandemic won’t stop @SecPompeo from spouting 3rd-rate propaganda," Zarif tweeted after the top US diplomat claimed that the government of Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani was “mishandling” the outbreak of the highly-contagious virus called COVID-19.

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