October 3, 2023


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US nuclear scholar accused of being Iranian overseas agent insists his work was legal

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A nuclear scholar charged with functioning illegally as a overseas agent for Iran statements he did practically nothing improper — and is accusing the feds of faking emails to confirm their scenario.


Kaveh Afrasiabi, 63, a Harvard professor and longtime U.S. resident, was arrested final thirty day period on prices that he secretly labored to even more the Iranian government’s political aims though purporting to be an unbiased resource knowledgeable on nuclear problems.

But Afrasiabi states there was almost nothing sinister about his get the job done, and claims he was beneath the impact the United States was knowledgeable of his side gig as a expert for Tehran.

“I was particular the US authorities is aware of about my consulting purpose for the reason that I received checks from the Iran Mission’s UN bank account, which for a lengthy time I routinely deposited at my account at Chase Manhattan Lender,” Afrasiabi reported in a sworn assertion to a Brooklyn federal decide Monday.

Iran also instructed the Harvard professor that what he was doing was correctly lawful, mentioned Afrasiabi, who has a Ph.D. in political science and who analyzed less than famed historian Howard Zinn.

Federal prosecutors mentioned over the past 14 a long time, Afrasiabi been given additional than $250,000 from the Iranian government as perfectly as well being coverage. He unsuccessful to disclose his marriage with the overseas nation, which violates U.S. law demanding people today engaged in political activities on behalf of other nations to periodically disclose their romantic relationship, prosecutors stated.

Through this time, he penned many view articles for big media outlets and even lobbied a U.S. congressman about nuclear relations among The united states and Iran.

The feds cited numerous email messages amongst Afrasiabi and Iranian officials in their complaint.

“Please check out the connected short article. I will enjoy any enter. It has been accepted and long gone by means of revisions. It is in line with leader’s hottest speech,” the scholar requested a person formal before publishing an article in the Bulletin of Atomic Researchers about nuclear negotiations, according to the complaint.

Afrasiabi denied composing the e-mail. “The complaint is riddled with purported e-mails from me, none of which is penned by me,” he stated in his sworn statement.

Afrasiabi faces up to 10 a long time in prison if convicted. He is looking for to stand for himself with out a lawyer in the prison situation.

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Workplace in Brooklyn declined to remark on Afrasiabi’s statements.

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