News / Middle East

Iran: Missing Scientist Takes Refuge in Pakistan Embassy in US

Image grab taken from Iran's state-run English-language Press TV shows Iranian nuclear scientist Shahram Amiri whom Islamic republic says was kidnapped by US agents in video clip 8 June 2010.
Image grab taken from Iran's state-run English-language Press TV shows Iranian nuclear scientist Shahram Amiri whom Islamic republic says was kidnapped by US agents in video clip 8 June 2010.

Iran's state media say an Iranian nuclear scientist has taken refuge in Pakistan's embassy in Washington and is seeking an immediate return to his homeland.

The latest twist in scientist Shahram Amiri's case follows conflicting accounts, reportedly by the scientist himself, that he had been kidnapped and tortured by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency or that he was in the United States for academic studies.

Iran says Amiri was captured and handed over to U.S. intelligence agents while he was visiting Saudi Arabia.  Washington denies the charge.

U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said Tuesday that Amiri has been in the United States "on his own free will" and was free to go. Crowley said Amiri traveled to the Iranian interests section of the Pakistani embassy on his own and was in the process of making travel arrangements to return to Iran.

Amiri had been working for Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, which the United States and other countries suspect is trying to develop nuclear weapons - a charge Tehran denies.

A series of video messages have only added confusion to the case.  The latest, aired on Iranian television last month, showed a man identified as Amiri saying he had escaped from American intelligence forces, was in hiding and feared for his life.

The message followed two others, also purportedly by Amiri, earlier in the month.  

In the first, a man says he had been kidnapped during a joint Saudi-American operation last year.   

The next day, another video surfaced, with the speaker saying he was studying medical-related physics in the United States and had no role in nuclear weapons research.

An American news network reported that Amiri had made the second video because he had defected to the United States to help it in its case against Iran and its nuclear program.  ABC television says the Iranian government threatened the scientist's relatives, if he failed to return.

Paul Ingram is the executive director of the British American Information Security Council in London.  He says those following the case will draw their own conclusions based on their existing allegiances.  

"Each story has within it its own sense of consistency," Ingram said. "However, it has to be said, if it is true that he has turned up at the Pakistani embassy within Washington and is now wanting to be repatriated to Iran, that on balance it would seem, the balance of probabilities and that is how far I would be able to go, the balance of probabilities seem to have shifted towards Iran's side of the story."

Because Iran and the United States have no diplomatic ties, Pakistan's embassy in Washington hosts an Iranian interests section.  A Pakistani Foreign Ministry official said Iranian officials at the interest section in Washington informed him they are working to repatriate Amiri.

Ingram adds that if this turns out to be a case of extraordinary rendition - the U.S. policy of capturing wanted people overseas - it would seem to be the first suggestion that the policy covered such people as scientists.

You May Like

Video Protests Continue in Ferguson, Spread to Other US Cities

Missouri officials say deployment of more than 2,000 National Guard soldiers helps curb second night of rampant arson and looting in Midwestern town More

Video Ebola, Crackdown on Illegals Hit Business in Guangzhou

Chinese city has largest community of Africans in Asia More

Video Legendary Lebanese Actress, Singer Sabah Dies at 87

Music and film diva, affectionately called 'Sabbouha' by millions of her fans, performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, Royal Albert Hall in London, Olympia in Paris, Sydney Opera House in Sydney More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid