Who is Shahram Amiri?
Shahram Amiri is an Iranian nuclear scientist who disappeared from Iran for a little over a year under disputed circumstances. In the spring of 2009, he disappeared while apparently on a pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. About a year later two videos appeared, each purporting to be declarations by Amiri, but with contradictory stories. One showed him, stating that he had been kidnapped and tortured by Saudis and Americans; the other that he was in America of his own free will.
In July 2010, Shahram Amiri reappeared in Washington D.C. at the Iran interests section of the Embassy of Pakistan, seeking help to return to Tehran. Shortly thereafter he spoke at a press conference in Tehran telling journalists he had been kidnapped, tortured and bribed to cooperate with the CIA, but had refused.
In 2009, the Iranian government accused the US government of kidnapping him, while Iranian government media later reported that he was working for Iranian intelligence. After his return to Iran, American sources confirmed he arrived in, or was taken to, the United States with the help of the CIA, but insisted he had not been taken or kept against his will. ABC News and Haaretz newspaper suggested Amiri "wanted to seek asylum abroad." According to a 2011 report by NPR news, he "was believed to be an agent-in-place for the CIA," who decided "he wanted out of Iran", but once in the US "got cold feet" and "made his way back to Iran".
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