Thursday, July 15, 2010

Iranian Nuclear Scientist Is Welcomed Home

Shahram Amiri, an Iranian nuclear scientist who disappeared a year ago, held his 7-year-old son after a news conference outside Tehran on Thursday.

He'll never be free! Due one UN meeting of world leaders ~ and of course Ahmadinejad was present ~ there was a curious announcement that the Iranians had a secret nuclear site. This all, I believe was after this nuclear scientist's mysterious disappearance in Mecca/Medina!! The Iranians won't be foolish enough to put him in one of their show trials ~ or would they? But for now the welcome home will likely last for only a few hours!

TEHRAN — An Iranian nuclear scientist who American officials say defected to the United States and then had second thoughts was given a hero’s welcome when he returned to Tehran early Thursday morning.

The scientist, Shahram Amiri, 32, added details to his claims that he had been abducted by the C.I.A. and Saudi intelligence officers on a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia in June 2009. A wreath of flowers was placed around his neck as he was greeted at Imam Khomeini International Airport by family members, including his 7-year old son, red-eyed from crying, and a grinning Foreign Ministry official.

At a news conference immediately upon his arrival, Mr. Amiri said he had no connection with Iran’s nuclear program and that he was the victim of an American conspiracy to wage “psychological warfare” against Iran. American officials have said that Mr. Amiri arrived in the United States of his own free will and was free to leave whenever he wished.

Mr. Amiri told reporters he had been offered $10 million to say on CNN that he had arrived in the United States to seek asylum . He said that just before his departure for Iran, he was offered $50 million and the chance for a new life in a European country of his choosing if he decided to stay.

“I don’t think that any Iranian in my place would have sold his dignity to another country for a financial reward,” Mr. Amiri said.

U.S. officials have dismissed Mr. Amiri’s claims. Mr. Amiri refused to describe how, if he was under armed guard, he had been able to release a video message in which he stated he had been kidnapped by United States and Saudi agents while on a religious pilgrimage to the Muslim holy city of Medina. He also did not answer questions about how he had eventually escaped detention and sought refuge in the Iran interests section of the Pakistani Embassy in Washington, stating that divulging this information would be “against national interests.”

A Foreign Ministry official, Hassan Qashqavi, denied any suggestion that Mr. Amiri’s return to Iran was related to the plight of three American citizens still being held in Iran after they were captured while hiking near the Iran-Iraq border last year.

NY Times

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