TEHRAN, Iran -- Iran on Thursday awarded a prestigious prize in the study of science and technology to two physicists based in the United States.
Harvard University physics professor Cumrun Vafa received The Mustafa Prize in the field of “All Areas of Science and Technology.” Vafa is an Iranian-American.
The award, he said, reminds him "that there is no border for science and technology and they belong to all human beings.”
He donated his award to an Iranian science foundation.
A quantum professor at Princeton University, Bangladesh-born M. Zahid Hasan, received the prize, too.
Three other scientists, Lebanon's Mohamed H. Sayegh, Pakistan's Muhammad Iqbal Choudhary and Morocco's Yahya Tayalati also won awards.
Each of the five won $500,000. They were selected from more than 500 entrants.
It was the fourth award ceremony for the biennial prize since 2015. Iran launched the prize as part of its goal to become a regional scientific powerhouse.
The award comes against the backdrop of U.S. sanctions on Tehran and Iran’s unraveling nuclear deal with world powers.