Tehran – Nuclear scientist Omid Kokabee, who has been
imprisoned in Iran for the past five years, was given a personal
pardon by the justice minister on Monday.
The decision means that Kokabee will not have to return to Evin
prison, lawyer Saeid Khalili said.
Kokabee, who was a doctoral student at the University of Texas at
Austin, has been in hospital since April following an operation to
remove a cancerous kidney.
Iranian-born Kokabee returned from Texas to visit his family in
January 2011. However, as he tried to leave the country again a month
later, he was arrested at Tehran airport.
He has said that the government of the time demanded that he
cooperate on the Iranian nuclear programme.
When he refused, he was arrested, accused of collaborating with foreign governments and
sentenced to 10 years in prison, his lawyer says. He has been incarcerated since.