Tehran University professor and prominent Iranian analyst Sadegh Zibakalam has been given an 18-month prison sentence for questioning the usefulness of the country's nuclear program. The nature of the judgment leaves whether the analyst will serve his full sentence up to the discretion of the judge. The case is seen by many as a warning about the limits on criticism of the nuclear program.
On his Facebook page, Zibakalam, a political centrist, wrote, "Just as you know, after the Geneva agreement and the attacks on that agreement from 'the Concerned,' I wrote two open letters to [Kayhan editor] Hossein Shariatmadari and [parliamentarian and 9 Dey editor] Hamid Rasaei. And in defending the efforts of the administration in solving the nuclear issue, I presented this question to them: 'What benefit and outcome for the progress, growth and development of the country has the nuclear [program] had for the economy of the country?'"