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Iranian Academic and Family to Be Deported From U.S.

Iranian Academic and Family to Be Deported From U.S.
Jackie Reddy

Dr. Mohsen Dehnavi, a cancer researcher, has been detained by CBP officials at BOS and is due to be deported back to Iran.

An Iranian academic and his young family have been detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at Boston’s Logan International Airport (BOS) and are to be deported from the country, the Washington Post reports. Both officials from CBP as well as representatives from the National Iranian American Council, a non-profit organization, have confirmed that Dr. Mohsen Dehnavi, a cancer researcher who arrived in the country earlier this week to begin research at Boston Children’s Hospital, is due to be expelled.

Dr. Dehnavi’s ordeal comes two weeks after the Trump administration received the go-ahead to enforce an adapted version of its controversial travel ban, which will see citizens from Iran as well as a handful of other Muslim-majority nations barred from the country.

The CBP did not comment on the specifics of Dr. Dehnavi’s case. In a statement, agency spokesperson Stephanie Malin said, “This individual was deemed inadmissible to the U.S. based on information discovered during the CBP inspection. As is customary with individuals denied entry to the U.S., they will depart on the next scheduled flight.”

However, authorities have said that Dr. Dehnavi’s deportation is not related to the travel ban. Officials at Boston’s Children’s Hospital have asked for his release and have provided legal aid to the family.

Rob Graham, the hospital’s spokesperson, told the paper by e-mail that, “Dr. Dehnavi is a visiting research scholar on a J-1 visa coming to Boston Children’s with his wife and three children. Boston Children’s hopes that this situation will be quickly resolved and Dr. Dehnavi and his family will be released and allowed to enter the US.”

The plight of Dr. Dehnavi was raised to the National Iranian American Council via Mohammad Rashidian, a friend who had been waiting at BOS to pick up the arriving family. Trita Parsi, president of the council, was told by Rashidian that there is an unspecified problem with Dr. Dehnavi’s documentation.

Speaking of the situation, Parsi queried this explanation, saying, “How could he get this far and be denied here? They’re not being forthcoming.”

[Photo: Shutterstock]

View Comments (5)


  1. LukeO9

    July 12, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    I didn’t know that Making America Great Again entails the protection of its citizens from cancer researchers.

  2. Counsellor

    July 13, 2017 at 9:44 pm

    Undoubtedly more to this than has been told.

  3. downinit

    July 14, 2017 at 7:18 am

    How many American citizens have been killed by Iranian nationals in the nearly 40 years since they overthrew the puppet dictator that we set up over there? How many American citizens have been assisted and even saved by the countless hoards of Iranian immigrant doctors working in our hospitals?

  4. Mendor

    July 14, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    “An Iranian medical researcher who was prevented from entering the United States to work at a Boston hospital is believed to have been an active member of the Basij force used in Iran as a tool of state repression.

    Seyed Mohsen Dehnavi was the head of the Basiji at Tehran’s Sharif University, former students at the university and activists claim.

    Several former Sharif University students who did not want to be identified because of fear of government harassment told RFE/RL that Dehnavi was involved in putting pressure on reformist students.”

    If its true, its not a surprise that guy was deported, the question is why he was granted a visa.

  5. payam81

    July 16, 2017 at 6:22 am

    Yup this has been widely covered in the Iranian diaspora media. The guy’s credentials are suspect at best. For one he is definitely not an MD as been reported wrongly by several news outlets as his name does not come up in the Iranian registry for MDs. On top of that and of most recent of his activities he had a prominent campaign management role in one of the conservative (read: Islamist) candidates at the recent election that got the moderate Rouhani a landslide victory. This is in addition to his prominent role with the para-military Basij force which is extremely anti-American and anti-Western (and generally despised by the wider Iranian society).

    There are some unconfirmed reports that his degrees could have been either faked or manipulated, but nothing concrete to back this up as expected.

    Overall this action of CBP was widely applauded in the Iranian diaspora who have been subjected to the rule and bullying of the likes of this guy in Iran for many years.

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